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TIGHT BINGING 
BOOK 



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OSMANIA UNIVERSITY LIBRARY 

Call No. 3? '/^V Accession No. 



Author *' < ' 

Title .** <**'*{"'* " f ~ f * ? *'' : 

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This book should* faq returned on or before the d 
last 'marked below. 



INDIA OF TO-DAY 

VOLUME VIII 

THE DEVELOPMENT 

OP 

INDIAN AGRICULTURE 



BY 



ALBERT HOWARD, C.I.E., M.A. 

Director of the Institute of Plant Industry, Indore 
and Agricultural Adviser to States in Central India 



AND 



GABRIELLE L. C. HOWARD, M.A. 

Second Imperial Economic Botanist (on deputation to 
the Institute oj Plant Industry, Indore) 



SECOND EDITION 



HUMPHREY MILFORD 
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA MADRAS 
1929 



First edition published January 1928 
Second edition published April 1929 



Printed by V. P. Pendherkar, at the Tutorial Press 
21 la, Girgaum Back Road Bombay 

and 

Published by Humphrey Milfo/d at the Oxford University Press 
B. I. Building, Nicol Road, Bombay 



CONTENTS 

I. THE POSITION OF AGRICULTURE IN INDIA ... 1 
II. THE FACTORS UNDERLYING PRODUCTION ... 9 

III. THE ORGANIZATION OF AGRICULTURAL 

RESEARCH 23 

IV. SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH... 34 

V. THE HUMAN FACTOR 57 

VI. SOME COMMUNITY PROBLEMS 73 

VII. A DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF RURAL 

RE-CONSTRUCTION 83 

APPENDIX. A Short Directory of the Agricultural 

Departments of British India ... 87 

INDEX ' .*.. ... 99 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Marketing cotton ^ Frontispiece 

Transporting seed-cotton to the gin ... facing p. 37 
The Java system of sugar-cane cultivation 39 

The eradication of kans (Saccharum 

spontaneum L. ) 47 

Yoke for four oxen walking abreast ... ,,49 


Pusa 12 grown with one watering at Shahjahanpur 77 



GENERAL EDITOR'S NOTE 

THE opinions expressed in this book are those of the 
authors. No other person shares responsibility for them. 

J. COATMAN 



PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION 

In 1924 we were requested by the Oxford University 
Press to prepare a short account of the present position 
of agriculture in India. The completion of this task has 
been greatly delayed by the work involved in establishing 
the new Institute of Plant Industry at Indore in Central 
India. 

The results obtained by the Agricultural and Co- 
operative Departments during the last twenty years have 
removed two misconceptions which were current at the 
beginning of this century, namely (1) that science can 
teach the cultivator nothing and (2) that even if the 
villager can be helped, he will never alter his present 
practices. The work of the Experiment Stations and 
that done among the people have proved beyond all 
doubt that great progress is possible. 

The question to be settled now is the rate of develop- 
ment in the near future. In this piatter the country has 
arrived at the parting of the ways. On the one hand, a 
great step forward is possible, provided the various 
independent departments working in the villages can be 
welded together into a single efficient agency, dealing 
with rural India as a whole. On the other hand, very 
modest progress can be achieved with the present means. 
It is for India to decide by which of these two roads she 

intends to travel. 

A. H. 
G. L. C. H. 
INDORE 
80th April 1927 



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION 

The publication of a second edition has enabled us 
to bring this book up to date and to include in the bibli- 
ographies at the end of each chapter the chief publications 
which have appeared during the last twelve months. 

A. H, 

G. L. C. H. 
INDORE 
81st August 1928 



CHAPTER I 

THE POSITION OF AGRICULTURE IN INDIA 

Agriculture is and for many years to come must 
remain India's greatest industry. It provides occupation, 
directly and indirectly, for the great majority of the 
people of the country. The census returns of 1921 show 
that 224,000,000 people or 71 per cent of the total 
population of 316,000,000 were directly dependent on 
agriculture. If we add the pastoral and hunting occu- 
pations, the percentage rises to 73. In addition, the 
numerous village communities contain, besides those 
directly concerned with agriculture, many other members 
whoso livelihood depends on the tillers of the soil and 
who are therefore supported by the produce of the 
country-side. Further, a number of others combine 
agriculture with various urban pursuits. Trade and 
transport, on which less than six per cent and two per 
cent respectively depend, are also largely concerned 
with the produce of the soil. It has been estimated 
that more than 90 per cent of the people of rural India 
live directly or indirectly on agriculture. On the other 
hand, industries including those of an un-organized 
character which deal with household and personal necessi- 
ties and simple implements support only ten per cent 
of the population. Organized industries, of which cotton 
and jute are the most important, occupy only one per 
cent of the people. The distribution of the population 
in 1921, according to occupations, is given in Table I. 



2 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

TABLE I. GENERAL DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION 



Occupational 
sub-class 


Number per 10,000 
of total population 
supported 


Percentage of increase 
or decrease 


TOTAL 


10,000 




Agriculture, pasture 
and hunting 


7,298 


+ 1-8 


Industries 


1,049 


- 6-0 


Trade 


573 


+ 2-0 


Professions 


159 


- 7-1 


Domestic service 


144 


- 0-6 


Transport 


137 


-13-8 


Administration 


84 


- 1-0 


Police, Army and 

Navy 


69 


- 9-0 


Mines and minerals 


17 


+ 2-3 


Independent 
incomes 


15 


-11-1 


Unclassified 


351 


+20-1 


Unproductive 


104 


+ 5-7 



The millions of rural India for the most part live as 
primitive village communities and cultivate small holdings, 
often less than five acres in area the exact size varying 
with such factors as soil, climatic conditions, pressure 
of population and irrigation facilities. In the Census 
Report of 1921, the , relation between the number of 
workers and the acreage cultivated has been calculated 
for the chief provinces of British India. The figures are 
given in Table II. They illustrate how intense is the 
struggle for existence in India. 



THE POSITION OF AGRICULTURE IN INDIA 

TABLE II. THE RELATION BETWEEN MAN POWER 
AND CULTIVATED AREA 



Province 



Bombay 

Nrth-West Frontier Province 

Punjab 

Central Provinces 

Burma 

Madras 

Bengal 

Bihar and Orissa 

Assam 

United Provinces 



Number of acres cultivated 
per 100 ordinary cultivators 



1,215 
1,122 
918 
848 
565 
491 
312 
309 
296 
251 



These minute holdings are frequently cultivated by 
extensive methods (those suitable for large areas) which 
neither utilize the full energies of the workers nor the 
potential fertility of the soil. Such a system of 
agriculture is bound to prove un-economic and to result 
in poverty. 

By far the most important feature of this peasant 
agriculture is crop-production. The crops grown fall 
into two classes (1) food and fodder crops and (2) money 
crops. The former includes, in order of area, rice, 
millets, wheat, pulses and fodder crops, barley and maize, 
and sugar-cane. The money crops are more varied; 
cotton and oil seeds are the most important, followed by 
jute and other fibres, tobacco, tea, opium, indigo and 
coffee. In Table III, a general summary is given of the 
agricultural statistics of British India for 1926-27. It will 
be seen that food and fodder crops comprise eighty-two 
per cent of the total area under crops and that money 
crops, as far as extent is concerned, are relatively 
unimportant. 



DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

TABLE III. AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS OF 
BRITISH INDIA, 1926-27 



Area, in ncres, under food and 


Area, in ncres, under money 


fodder crops 


crops 


Bice ... 78,502,000 


Cotton ... 15,687,000 




Oil seeds, chiefly 


Millets ... 38,776,000 


rape arid mustard, 




sesamum, ground- 


Wheat ... 24,181,000 


nuts and linseed 14,999,000 


Gram ... 14,664,000 


Jute and other 




fibres ... 4,411,000 


Pulses and other 




food grains ... 29,154,000 


Dyes, tanning 




materials, drugs, 


Fodder crops ... 8,940,000 


narcotics and 




miscellaneous 


Condiments, 


money crops ... 1,729,000 


spices, fruits, 




vegetables and 


Tobacco ... 1,055,000 


miscellaneous 




food crops ... 7,537,000 


Tea 738,000 


Barley ... 6,387,000 


Opium 59,000 


Maize ... 5,555,000 


Indigo 104,000 


Sugar ... 3,041,000 


Coffee ... 91,000 


TOTAL food and 


TOTAL money 


fodder crops... 216,737,000 


crops 38,873,000 



The primary function* of Indian agriculture is to supply 
the cultivator and his cattle -with food. Compared with 



THE POSITION OF AGRICULTURE IN INDIA 5 

this duty all other matters are subsidiary. The houses 
are built of mud, thatched with grass and are almost 
devoid of furniture. Expenditure on clothing and 
warmth is, on account of the customs of the country and 
the nature of the climate, much smaller than in European 
countries. Nevertheless, the cultivators require a little 
money with which to pay the land revenue and to purchase 
a few necessaries in the village markets. Hence the 
growth of money crops to the extent of about one-fifth 
the total cultivated area. The produce, after conversion 
into cash, is afterwards either worked up in the local 
mills or exported. To some extent food crops are also 
money crops. The population of the towns and cities is 
largely fed from the produce of the soil while in addition 
a small percentage of the total food grains produced is 
exported to foreign countries. In some crops like sugar- 
cane, the total out-turn is insufficient for the towns and 
large quantities of sugar are imported from Java, Mauritius 
and the continent of Europe. The yields of the more 
important crops are given in Table IV. 

TABLE IV. YIELD OP THE MORE IMPORTANT 
CROPS, 1926-27 



Food crops 


Mon< 


jy crops 


Rice 29,636,000 tons 


Jute 


12,132,000 bales 


Wheat 8,941,000 


Cotton 


4,960,000 bales 






(each 4001b.) 




Ground-nuts 


2,035,000 tons 


Millets 7,806,000 


Rape and 






mustard ., 


986,000 


Gram 3,979,000 


Linseed 


407,000 




Sesamum .. 


411,000 


Barley 2,550,000 


Castor seed.. 


128,000 




Tea 


392,917,800 Ib 


Sugar 3,234,000 


Coffee 


34,286,806 




Rubber, 


23,002,700 


Maize 1,919,000 


Indigo 


18,100 cwt. 



6 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

Animal husbandry is much less important than crop- 
production in all but a few thinly populated areas where 
the soil and rainfall ensure ample supplies of grass. 
In such tracts, such as the upland areas of Central India, 
North Gujerat, Nelloro, Kheri, South Kathiawar, Mysore 
and parts of the Punjab and Sind, the best breeds of work 
cattle are raised and exported to the more densely 
populated areas. A few find their way overseas. The 
milk supply of the country is derived almost entirely 
from the buffalo, a species which possesses high 
digestive powers and is able to maintain itself and 
also produce large quantities of milk on a diet on 
(which the best strains of European dairy cattle would 
starve.) The finest breeds of buffalo are the Delhi 
(North- West India) and the Jafarabadi (Kathiawar). Good 
cows of these breeds yield from 40 to 50 Ib. of milk per 
day and command high prices. Cattle and buffaloes are 
raised entirely for work and milk. There is no export 
of meat or dairy products. Hides (raw and tanned), 
however, are an important item of the foreign trade and 
mostly find their way to Europe and the United States. 
Besides cattle and buffaloes, the country raises for internal 
use flocks of sheep and goats of a nondescript character, 
as well as a number of horses, donkeys and camels. A 
small amount of wool is exported. 

Before the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 and the 
great development in communications of the last fifty years 
took place the Indian village community, except in times 
of famine, supported itself. The volume of produce 
exported was then small. The construction of roads 
and railways, coupled with the growth of shipping 
facilities at the ports, has rapidly brought the cultivator 
within the influence of the world's markets. These 
factors are converting him into a specialist. He has 
begun to grow such crops as cotton, jute, wheat and 
oil-seeds for sale and to purchase his food supplies. In 
other words, he is beginning to live on the profits derived 
from his holding rather than, as heretofore, on its 
products. Great developments in this direction have 
taken place in the last twenty years in the cotton-growing 
areas on account of the high price of cofcton. The 



THE POSITION OF AGRICULTURE IN INDIA 



TABLE V. PRINCIPAL ARTICLES OF EXPORT ARRANGED 
IN ORDER OF THEIR IMPORTANCE, 1925-26 



Exports 



Value in 

thousands of 

rupees 



Cotton, raw and manufactured ... ... 1,04,64,13 

Jute 96,78,56 

Food grains 48,03,39 

Oil-seeds 29,63,68 

Tea 27,12,17 

Hides, skins and leather 14,33,59 

Metals and ores 7,28,83 

Lac 6,90,10 

Wool, raw and manufactured 4,59,48 

Rubber 2,94,10 

Oil-cake ... 2,10,62 

Timber 1,95,74 

Opium 1,93,37 

Coffee 1,85,26 

Oils (essential, mineral and vegetable) ... 1,79,29 

Spices 1,76,28 

Paraffin wax 1,59,4,5 

Hemp 1,59,17 

Dyes and tanning substances 1,33,11 

Fodder and bran 1,28,58 

Manures 1,17,49 

Tobacco 1,11,40 

Coir 1,08,27 

Mica 1,04,17 

Fruits and vegetables 83,46 

Fish 76,44 

Provisions and oilman's stores 63,79 

Silk 38,76 

Miscellaneous 7,31,55 



TOTAL VALUE OF EXPORTS . 



373,83,23 



8 DEVELOPMENT OP INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

cultivators of tracts like Berar grow cotton at the expense 
of food-stuffs and in consequence have to be fed from 
other parts of India. The recent fall in the price of the 
raw material, by restricting production, will no doubt 
tend to the increased cultivation of local food crops and 
to the substitution of other money crops, such as ground- 
nuts, for cotton. The area under ground-nuts, which is 
largely grown for export, has also increased of late years. 
The importance of agriculture to the welfare of India 
is perhaps most clearly recognized when the list cff 
articles exported ( see Table V on page 7 ) is carefully 
examined. The chief items in the export trade, on which 
the prosperity of the country is founded, are, in order 
of value, cotton and jute (raw and manufactured), food 
grains, oil-seeds, tea, hides, skins and leather. These 
comprise no less than 85 per cent of the total value of 
the export trade. A long list of miscellaneous products 
make up the exports of agricultural origin to nearly 
95 per cent. Raw agricultural products amount to no less 
than 72 per cent of the total exports. Non-agricultural 
exports comprise less than six per cent of the export trado 
of the country. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Agricultural Statistics of India, 1925-26. Calcutta, 
I and II, 1928. 

Census of India, Calcutta. I, 1921, p. 236. 

Estimates of area and yield of the principal crops of 
India, 1926-27. Calcutta, 1928. 

Imperial Gazetteer of India. Ill, 1908, p. 1. 

Review of the Trade of India in 1926-27. Calcutta, 1927. 



CHAPTER ii 

THE FACTORS UNDERLYING PRODUCTION 

The first step in the development of rural India is a 
careful study of the present agricultural conditions of the 
country. The factors involved, both agricultural and 
human, must bo recognized and defined. Fortunately, a 
great deal has already been accomplished in this 
direction and it is now possible to bring together a vast 
mass of scattered work and to consider the main features 
of rural India as one subject. 

THE AGRICULTURAL FACTORS 

It is not possible, in the space available, to describe in 
detail the various agricultural practices which occur in 
a country the size of India. An attempt, however, will 
be made to record the main factors underlying Indian 
agriculture, which have been closely studied during the 
last twenty years. 

The place of the crop in Indian agriculture. The 
outstanding feature of Indian agriculture is the 
importance of the plant. The country is a land of 
small-holders chiefly occupied in the raising of crops. 
Not only the population but also the trade of the country 
depend on the produce of these millions of small fields. 
To increase the well-being of India, therefore, crop- 
production must be stimulated and each unit must be 
made to yield either more produce, more valuable 
produce, or an increased yield of a better quality than the 
average. To accomplish this two things are necessary : 
a knowledge of plants and how they work and the 
discovery and application of practical methods of speeding 
up growth. 



10 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGBICULTITRE 

The essential nature of a crop can be stated in a few 
words. It is a group of living factories which makes use 
of two classes of raw material : one obtained from the 
soil, the other from the atmosphere. Various mineral 
salts, in dilute solution in water, enter the plant from the 
soil by way of the root-system and are carried to the 
green leaves by the upward transpiration current. From 
the atmosphere, oxygen and carbon dioxide reach the 
same point by way of the pores of the leaf. In the green 
cells, these two classes of raw materials are worked 
up into complex food substances by means of energy 
focussed from the sun through the medium of the 
chlorophyll corpuscles. Unlike an animal, a plant has 
to make its own food before it can feed. In both cases 
the actual food, however, is very similar. The crop has to 
manufacture food, to develop new organs and to complete 
its life cycle under constantly varying conditions aa 
regards the supply of raw materials, temperature, 
illumination and humidity. The manufacture of its own 
food by the green leaves is the first work of the plant. 
Its second duty is to provide a surplus in the shape of 
reserve materials which are often packed into the seed - 
for the use of the next generation. Man intercepts 
these reserve materials for his own use, and on their 
amount and quality the success or failure of crop-pro- 
duction depends. In this manufacture of food, it is well 
to^bear in mind the fact that the plant has always to feed 
itself first of all and that the formation of reserves marks 
as it were a second stage of activity.} Naturally the 
higher the efficiency of the factory the more food there 
will be for growth and the greater will be the volume of 
the reserves. The duty of the investigator of crop- 
problems is to study the working and out-put of this 
natural factory, to discover the directions in which it can 
be improved and then to devise the most practical method 
of carrying this out in the field, 

The monsoon and agriculture. An adequate supply 
of soil water for the plant is the first condition of success 
in crop-production. Without this the plant cannot make 
full use of the natural fertility of the land. Hence the 
dependence of the crops of India on the monsoon and the 



THE FACTORS UNDERLYING PRODUCTION 11 

importance of a well-distributed rainfall to the country. 
The monsoon is the dominant factor in rural India. Its 
immense importance to the country-side can only be 
fully realized after a sojourn of many yearjTjTo the 
cold-weather visitor, the rains must at the most remain a 
name. An experience of a single rainy season is only the 
first step in the education of the student of rural India. 
After twenty years or so, a realization of the full 
significance of the monsoon becomes possible. In that 
time words are translated into first-hand experience. 
The well-known uncertainty of the monsoon produces 
other effects besides limiting the annual harvest. The 
character and outlook of the population have been 
affected. The people feel that the monsoon is in 
command. The villager is convinced that ho has to accept 
what providence has seen lit to provide. Hence the 
well-marked fatalism of the people, the general stagnation 
of village life and the absence of any desire on the part 
of the cultivator to improve his condition. Anything 
approaching a high morale cannot therefore be expected 
under such conditions. It is not surprising to find that 
it does not exist. 

Considerable progress has been made in removing the 
worst consequences of an irregular rainfall. The surplus 
water running to waste in the great rivers, notably in 
those of the Indo-Gangetic plain, has been led to the 
fields of the cultivators by a network of perennial and 
inundation canals. In peninsular India, some of the 
excess rainfall is stored on the surface in large reservoirs. 
All over the country the large supplies of subterranean 
water are tapped by means of wells and raised to the 
surface chiefly by cattle power. Besides these direct 
methods of supplementing the rainfall, a little has been 
done by indirect means in the shape of embankments by 
which the run-off on sloping land has been checked and 
either given time to percolate into the soil or to be 
retained so that rice, a semi-aquatic crop, can be 
cultivated. Imposing as these various efforts in supple- 
menting a precarious rainfaM at first sight appear, a little 
consideration forces one to the conclusion that little more 
than the fringe of the subject has been touched and that 



12 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

only a beginning has been made in the regulation of the 
rainfall for the benefit of crops after it has reached 
the surface of the country. 

The Indian monsoon has produced two other results 
besides influencing the outlook of the people and often 
reducing the supply of moisture for the crops. In the 
first place the heavy falls of rain, which often occur, lead 
to constant erosion and to the loss of the most fertile 
portion of the soil. In chv second place the duration of 
the monsoon is so 'M,.>ru that only rapidly-maturing 
varieties of low potent^- vxeld can be cultivated. 

The annual loss of soil which takes place in 
India by erosion is immense and is an important 
factor* in reducing the annual harvest. Except in the 
rice areas, soil-erosion takes place all over the country 
and is particularly harmful 011 the upland areas of 
peninsular India. In these tracts, the scientific control of 
surface drainage does not yet exist. Much of the rain is 
received in heavy falls; a large portion of the water runs 
off the surface towards the drainage lines, carrying with it 
the most valuable portion of the soil the fine particles 
and a large part of the organic matter. Sometimes this 
drainage from the higher land leads to the water-logging 
of lower areas before it reaches the rivers. In other cases 
the surplus water runs to waste so rapidly that there is no 
time for it to soak into the soil. The crops then suffer and 
the reserve of water in the sub-soil is not replenished. 
All these adverse factors soil-erosion, water-logging and 
a shortage of soil moisture occur because there is no con- 
trol of the rain after it reaches the ground. It is only 
in years when the rainfall is well distributed that no 
harm is suffered. When the showers are light and fre- 
quent, there is ample time for absorption without water- 
logging, while at the same time the loss of fertile silt by 
erosion is negligible. In such seasons bumper crops are 
obtained even when the total rainfall is below the 
normal. 

Examples of the evil consequences which result from 
the want of control of the surface-drainage are unfortu- 
nately only too abundant. Thousands of acres of valuable 
land on the left bank of the Jumna have been destroyed 



THE FACTORS UNDERLYING PRODUCTION 13 

by the formation of a network of ravines which produces 
little more than a crop of grass in the rains. These gullies 
have been carved out of the soft alluvial soil by the un- 
controlled drainage in the past. Every year they extend 
further and further from the river, until, at the present 
time, they measure many hundreds of yards in length. 
Villages, which at one time were surrounded by fertile 
fields, now lie in a network of useless ravines. It is true 
that successful experiments in the afforestation of this 
strip of desert land are being undertaken by the Forestry 
Department and that in time a supply of useful timber 
and better fodder will result, but the area devasted is far 
too large to be rapidly reclaimed in this way. Further 
the expense is considerable. The real remedy for such 
damage is prevention the control of the drainage in the 
first instance. In matters such as this, little can be hoped 
from individual cultivators, as they are too intent on their 
Small areas of land besides being too poor and too ignorant 
to execute a drainage scheme for the country-side. 

Less striking than the ravine lands of the Jumna, 
but far more extensive and therefore more important, is 
the erosion which goes on on the soils of the peninsula 
in Central India, Gwalior, the Central Provinces and 
Bombay. Some eighty years ago, Sleeman drew pointed 
attention to the damage done by uncontrolled drainage 
in these areas in the following words : *' I am disposed to 
think that the most productive parts of the surface of 
Bundelkhand, like that of some of the districts of the 
Nerbudda territories which repose upon the back of the 
sandstone of the Vindhya chain, are fast flowing off to 
the sea through the great rivers, which seem by degrees to 
extend the channels of their tributary stream into every 
man's field, to drain away its substance by degrees, for 
the benefit of those who may in some future age occupy 
the islands of their delta. I have often seen a valuable 
estate reduced in value to almost nothing in a few years 
by some new antennae, if I may so call them, thrown out 
from the tributary streams of the great rivers into their 
richest and deepest soils. Declivities are formed, the soil 
gets nothing from the cultivator but the mechanical aid 
of the plough, and the more its surface ia ploughed 



14 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

and cross-ploughed, the more of its substance is washed 
away towards the Bay of Bengal in the Ganges, or the 
Gulf of Cambay in the Nerbudda. In the districts of the 
Nerbudda, we often see these black hornblende mortars, 
in which sugar-canes were onco pressed by a happy 
peasantry, now standing upon a bare and barren surface 
of sandstone rock, twenty feet above the present surface 
of the culturable lands of the country.'* Sleenian's remarks 
are true to-day except in those cases where enlightened 
administration has encouraged and assisted the people to* 
check this denudation by means of embankments. 
Nothing strikes the traveller, during the rains in the 
black soil areas of the peninsula, more than the universal 
scouring of the fields by the run-off and the enormous 
annual loss of the best portion of the soil. If only the 
surface-drainage were controlled, this loss of fertile soil 
would stofr and time would be given for the water to 
soak into the soil. This increased absorption would 
check erosion and would lead to better crops. It would 
also raise the spring-level and thus maintain the wells in 
action during the cold season and the succeeding hot 
weather. In some areas the soil of whole valleys has 
been removed by denudation and the rocky sub-soil left 
only maintains with difficulty a thin covering of scrub. 
Soil-formation, however, is going on even in such tracts, 
and it is extraordinary how quickly fertile land can be 
re-created by means of properly constructed embankments 
Stretching across the valley. In the Gwalior State, 
examples of such reclamation are numerous, and fine 
stretches of wheat are now being grown on the soil held 
by these embankments. In Bombay, many other 
examples of the successful control of rain-water, after it 
has fallen, exist. These not only indicate the remedy for 
a state of things which leads to a great annual drain of 
the natural capital of India, but also prove how rapid is 
the decay of the rocks and how much new soil is being 
created every year. Although erosion is extensive, it is 
partly counterbalanced by the formation of fresh goil. 
The position, therefore, jfs not hopeless provided 
denudation can be stopped and the yearly accretions of 
new earth can be collected and retained. 



THE FACTORS UNDERLYING PRODUCTION 15 

It is in the planting areas of the east, however, thajj 
the most striking examples of soil denudation are to be 
found. Instances of damage to the natural capital of the 
country are to be seen on the tea estates near Darjeeling, 
in the Kumaon hills, on the plantations in Ceylon and 
Assam, and in the planting districts of southern India 
and the Federated Malay States. In most of these areas 
forest land was so abundant that the need for the 
preservation of the soil was not at first recognized. 
Tfhanks to the efforts of Hope, a former scientific officer 
employed by the tea industry in Assam, the control of 
the drainage and the checking of erosion are now widely 
recognized and are being dealt with by the planters in 
many parts of India. A great impetus to this work was 
given by the publication in India of a detailed account 
of the methods in use by the Dutch planters in Java, 
where the terracing and drainage of sloping land under 
tea and other crops has been carried to a high state of 
perfection. In this island, the area of land available for 
planting is strictly limited, while the feeding of the 
large indigenous population is always a serious problem. 
As a consequence the development of the island is very 
Strictly controlled by the Government, and one of the 
conditions of planting new forest lands is the provision 
of a suitable system of terraces, combined with surface- 
drainage. The advantage is not all on the side of the 
state. The manuring of tea soils in Java is far less 
necessary than in Ceylon and India, while one important 
consequence of the retention of the valuable soil made 
by the forest is healthy growth which suffers remarkably 
little damage from insect and fungoid pests. 

Soi 7 s. The majority of the cultivated soils of India 
are well above the average in fertility. Particularly is 
this the case if due weight is given to the heavy cropping 
to which they are subjected and to the small quantity 
of manure that is applied. Their chief defect is the low 
content of organic matter. Given a supply of this 
material in a suitable condition for rapid nitrification, 
the response both in the rate Qf growth and in the total 
yield is marvellous. In almost every part of India 
myriads of examples of this basic fact are to be observed. 



16 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

The highly manured lands round the villages yield 
crops luxuriant in comparison with those of the outlying 
unmanurcd fields. The whole country-side is a gigantic 
manurial experiment and the certain results which 
follow the addition of organic matter to the soil need no 
investigation. As most of the cow-dung is burnt, other 
sources of organic matter must be exploited. The 
problem is to show the people how to make the most of 
the organic matter now available and how to improve the 
supply. 

After the increase in the content of organic matter 
and the provision of an adequate supply of moisture 
there is another soil factor, namely the supply of 
oxygen, which often needs attention. This is required 
for the soil organisms and the roots of the growing crop 
and is a factor of paramount importance in a country 
where the growth period is short and where the soils are 
often finely divided. If the air-supply of the soil is in 
defect, serious trouble ensues. The preparation of food 
materials for the plant becomes impossible and the crop 
is unable to develop an adequate root-system. Valuable 
time is lost and the yield suffers, although everything 
else potential soil fertility, ample soil moisture and a 
suitable variety may all be present together. An 
inadequate supply of oxygen in the soil puts a brake on 
the wheel of life. 

In many of the alluvial soils of north-west India, 
including Sind, the shortage of oxygen in the soil 
becomes so great that a condition of extreme oxygen 
hunger is set up. A change in the soil flora takes place : 
a group of soil organisms, which are able to extract the 
oxygen they need from various salts in the soil, is 
established. The new soil population sets up a condition 
of intense reduction which eventually leads to the 
development of the alkali condition a phase which 
marks the death of the soil as far as crop-production is 
concerned. The amount of soluble sodium salts in land 
in this condition renders the soil solution too con- 
centrated for the growth of /srops. The roots cannot absorb 
moisture and the crop withers. This alkali condition is 
very oommon in parts of the United Provinces, the 



THE FACTORS UNDERLYING PRODUCTION 17 

Punjab and Sind and is everywhere associated with soils 
through which water can only pass with great slowness 
or not at all. When water cannot pass readily through 
a soil, adequate aeration is out of the question and the 
subsequent development of the alkali condition is only a 
question of time. This danger is greatest when close, 
stiff, alluvial soils are brought under perennial irrigation. 
The constant flooding of the surface causes the soil 
particles to settle into a condition of close packing and to 
pro'duce gummy substances known as colloids. The 
supply of air then becomes restricted and there is 
a rapid fall in productivity. The alkali condition 
follows. The soil dies. The land goes out of cultiva- 
tion. 

The varieties cultivated. The restricted supply of 
soil moisture and the short period of growth make it 
impossible to cultivate high yielding types. The 
concentration of the monsoon rainfall into a period of 
between three and four months liniita the growth-period 
of the crops cultivated. Only rapidly maturing varieties 
can be grown in the rains. Such varieties must of necessity 
be low yielders. In the cold season, when crops are 
raised either on irrigation or on the moisture stored in 
the sub-soil, the temperature factor limits the growth- 
period and the choice is again restricted to rapidly 
maturing types. Both monsoon and cold weather crops 
therefore have one feature in common early maturity 
and low potential yielding power. With few 
exceptions, 1 the characteristic of all Indian crops is a 
short growth period, a fact to which sufficient weight is 
rarely given when the low average yields of this country 
are compared with those of more favoured localities. 
This general characteristic limits the degree of improve- 
ment. Tho full potentialities of plant-breeding can 
therefore never be realized in India, 

Besides early maturity, the crops grown have a 
number of other characters in common. Admixture of 

i In the Punjab and North-West Frontier Provinces, the cold weather 
crops have a longer season, and here yielito above the Indian average are 
possible. 
2 



18 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

varieties is the rule. There is nothing approaching 
uniformity in the sample and the quality of the produce 
is often low. Only the first steps in the establishment 
of grades, comparable with those which are now the 
rule in the produce shipped from America, have been 
accomplished in India. Sales take place for the most 
part only after the product has been examined. 
Adulteration with foreign seeds, water or earth is a 
constant complaint. There is no organization of the 
seed supply, seedsmen do not exist and no indigenous 
methods of improving the variety were in existence when 
this matter was taken in hand by the Agricultural 
Department some twenty years ago. 

Animal husbandry. Oxen furnish most of the 
power needed for cultivation and transport in India. 
In the rice areas, buffaloes are employed for ploughing. 
In Rajputana, the camel to some extent replaces the ox. 
Buffaloes, cows and goats provide milk. A remarkable 
feature of the supply of cattle is the vast number of old 
and worn out animals. As the cow is a sacred animal and 
the people are mostly vegetarians, it is not possible to use 
these animals for food. Keatinge states that, in the 
Bombay Deccan alone, the number of useless animals 
is no less than 900,000. These have to be fed. A severe 
drain is in this way imposed on the slender fodder 
resources of the country. Epidemics of disease and the 
acute shortage of fodder which follow a failure of the 
rains are the only factors which operate in keeping the 
bovine population within bounds. Except in the rice areas, 
the work cattle of India, when properly fed and tended, 
are fine animals, seldom sick or sorry and remarkably 
hardy and resistant to disease. There is little or nothing 
wrong with the breeds of cattle. What is needed is an 
ample food supply, particularly in the early years, and 
the provision of local fodder reserves to meet the 
periodical shortages which occur. The preparation of 
silage is almost unknown among the people and the 
amount of reserve straw and dried grass hold over 
from good years is exceedingly small. In the rice, 
jute and cotton areas,* the pressure of these crops on 
the cultivated area is so great that the work cattle have 



THE FACTORS UNDERLYING PRODUCTION 19 

to be imported and little provision is made in the shape 
of fodder crops to maintain the animals in a high state of 
efficiency. Casualties are frequent and the supply has 
to be maintained by constant importation from other tracts. 
Communications. Communications in agricultural 
India are good as far as railways are concerned and 
every year they are improving. The provision of 
inexpensive types of road railways and feeder lines as 
well as the bridging of rivers and the condition of the 
country roads leave a good deal to be desired. This work 
has been greatly interfered with by the war of 1914-18 
and by the period of financial stringency which followed it. 
Some improvement is now taking place but a great deal 
remains to be done to bring the fields of the cultivator 
into better touch with the markets of the world. For the 
conveyance of the population in rural areas, the motor 
omnibus already supplements the railway but this form 
of transport is sfcill too expensive for produce like 
un-ginned cotton and seeds. These are still moved by 
oxen in the primitive country cart. 



THE HUMAN FACTOR 

" In the end it is the character of the cultivator 
that counts." Culvert. 

Since the co-operative movement began some twenty 
years ago, the human factor has received more and more 
attention in India and during the last few years a number 
of: valuable studies, dealing with rural economy, have 
been carried out, notably in the Punjab and Bombay. 

The chief factor in production, in any country, must 
always be the cultivator himself. As a writer on 
Ireland truly remarks: "The wealth of a nation lies, 
not in the material resources at its command, but in the 
energy, initiative and moral fibre of its people; without 
these attributes no country can become permanently 
prosperous ; with them, no unfavourable circumstance 
can long prove an insuperable obstacle." While the 
importance of the man behind the plough can hardly 
be exaggerated, nevertheless, this is by no means the 



20 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

whole question. Much can also be done to achieve 
progress by education, by intelligent direction and by 
prolonged effort even under conditions the reverse of 
favourable. 

In Europe, Denmark offers an example of the 
successful transformation of rural life in little more than 
a generation. The fertility of the land has been raised, 
a successful dairy and bacon industry has been 
established, its products have been standardized r and 
command high prices in foreign markets. The 
educational system of the country districts (founded on 
the pioneering work of Grundtvig) stands at a high 
level and provides a constant supply of efficient human 
material for the improvement of the soil. The 
calamities which followed the war of 1868 gave birth to 
an intense desire to develop agriculture, the results 
of which are to be seen to-day. This material progress 
has taken place almost within the memory of men now 
living. "In the early nineteenth century the Danish 
peasant was still unprogrcssive, sullen and suspicious; 
averse from experiment, incapable of associated 
enterprise. To-day he is forward-looking, cheerful, 
scientifically minded, resourceful, co-operative." Sadler. 

In India itself large areas of desert land in the Punjab 
which a generation ago maintained a few troublesome 
nomads and their herds, have now, thanks to the 
development of canal irrigation, been converted into 
fertile fields. By ensuring a supply of water and by 
providing transport facilities for bringing the fields of 
the cultivator in touch with the world's markets the 
desert has been transformed. 

In the agricultural developments which have taken 
place in Denmark and in the Punjab the natural character 
of the people has no doubt counted for much. By itself 
however, it could never have brought about the results 
we see to-day. In Denmark, the chief factors were two 
adversity and an efficient system of rural education. In 
the Punjab, the canal colonies are mainly the result of 
settled government, of enlightened administration and of 
the existence of congested districts in the eastern part of 
the province, 



THE FACTORS UNDERLYING PRODUCTION 21 

Although India, in the success of the canal colonies, 
affords one striking example of successful agricultural 
development, nevertheless much remains to be done in 
the re- creation of the rural population as a whole. The 
village communities are everywhere uneducated and un- 
progressive, and no desire for better amenities in the shape 
of improved communications, efficient schools, dispensaries 
and better markets has disclosed itself. Still less has 
any rural movement arisen for raising the money to pay 
for* these improvements. Although the Reforms have 
been in operation for some years, the newspapers contain 
no accounts of public meetings in rural areas called for 
the purpose of impressing on the elected representatives 
of the people what agricultural India desires. Even the 
urban areas have only reached the stage of formulating 
demands for official assistance. The necessary note of 
pressing for improvements to the point of sacrifice is still 
a matter for the future. The fact must, therefore, be faced 
that in tho development of rural India not only its soil, 
crops and cattle but also its people must be considered. 
The first step is to study the village community. This is 
now being done and a good many results are available. 
These can be summed up in a few words. The people 
of rural India are for the most part uneducated, 
illiterate and almost incapable of thinking for themselves. 
The majority are born in debt, live in debt and 
die in debt. Even in the modern villages of the 
canal colonies, money-lending has become one of 
India's greatest industries. P^lse where, the holdings are 
for the most part small and are frequently fragmented 
into a number of scattered fields, difficult to cultivate and 
impossible to improve. Even the best cultivators have 
little or no capital for developing their fields. Everywhere 
agricultural land is regarded as a convenient means of 
investing money so that the rents can provide a certain 
income. Only in rare cases is money devoted to land 
improvement. In many parts of the country the pressure 
of population, 1 both human and bovine, is intense and 

1 In fifty years (1872-1921) the populffbion of British India increased 
by sixty-two millions, i. e., by 20 per cent. 



22 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

but for the high infant mortality and periodical waves of 
pestilence the position would become desperate. Clearly 
the first step in progress is. to educate the people the 
adults by such means as the co-operative movement and 
the force of example ; the children in suitable schools. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Begtrup, H., Lund, H., and Manniche, P. The Folk 
High-Schools of Denmark and the Development of a 
Farming Community. Oxford, 1926. 

Benskin, E. Afforestation in the United Provinces. 
Allahabad, 1921. 

Calvert, H. The Wealth and Welfare of the Punjab. 
Lahore, 1922. 

Calvert, H. The Size and Distribution of Agricultural 
Holdings in the Punjab. Lahore, 1925. 

Clouston, D. The Fodder Problem in its Relation to 
Cattle Breeding, Agr. Jour, of India, XX, 1925, p. 449. 

Darling, M. L. The Punjab Peasant in Prosperity and 
Debt, Second edition. Oxford, 1928. 

Hope, G.D. Note on Soil Denudation by Rainfall and 
Drainage ; Conservation of Soil Moisture, Agr. Jour, of 
India, XI, 1916, p. 134. 

Howard, A. Soil Erosion and Surface Drainage, 
Bull. 53, Agr. Research- Institute, Pusa, 1916. 

Howard, A. Crop-Production in India. Oxford, 1924. 

Jack, J. C. The Economic Life of a Bengal District. 
Oxford, 1927. 

Keatinge, G. F. Rural Economy in the Bombay 
Deccan, Agr. Jour, of India, VI, 1911, p. 208. 

Keatinge, G. F. Factors in Agricultural Progress, 
Agr. Jour, of India, XIII, 1918, p. 298. 

Low, C. E. The Supply of Agricultural Cattle in 
India, Agr. Jour, of India, -Nil, 1912, p. 331. 

Mann, H. H. Land and Labour in a Deccan Village. 
Oxford, 1917. 

Matson, J. The Cattle Question in India, Agr. Jour, 
oj India, XVII, 1922, p. 489. 

Proceedings of the Board of Agriculture in India. 
Calcutta, 1916. 



CHAPTER III 

THE ORGANIZATION 
OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 

* The first organized effort to improve Indian 
agriculture \vas that initiated by the late Lord Curzon in 
1904. Up to that time, a number of attempts to form 
Agricultural Departments had been made by the East 
India Company, the Government of India and the 
provincial Governments, but none of these projects took 
firm root. Although these earlier experiments failed, 
nevertheless two important pieces of work were 
accomplished. In 1887, the results of Sir George Watt's 
patient work on the crops of India were made available 
in his well-known Dictionary of Economic Products. 
This was followed in 1893 by Dr. Voelcker's interesting 
Report on the Improvement of Indian Agriculture. 

In 1901, Lord Curzon sanctioned the formation of an 
Imperial Agricultural Research Institute at Pusa under 
the direction of Mr. Bernard Coventry. The new institute 
was erected on a disused government estate of 1,358 acres 
and a sum of twenty lakhs of rupees (133,000), including 
a donation of 30,000 from the late Mr. Henry Phipps, 
was devoted to the undertaking. At that time the 
Imperial Department of Agriculture consisted of an 
Inspector-General of Agriculture, an Agricultural 
Chemist, a Cryptogamic Botanist and an Entomologist, all 
of whoso duties were largely advisory. None of these 
officers were provided with land for experimental purposes. 
Two were stationed at Dehra Dun, while the Inspector- 
General of Agriculture had his head-quarters at Nagpur. 
After the decision to found the Pusa Research Institute, 
the existing staff of the Department was concentrated 
there and three additional officers were appointed to deal 
with the following sub-divisions of the subject- 
Agriculture, Bacteriology and Economic Botany, 



24 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

In March 1905, the Government of India decided to 
set aside a sum of twenty-four lakhs of rupees for the 
development of separate Agricultural Departments in each 
of the larger provinces. From that date the organization 
of agricultural work in India has followed the two main 
divisions Imperial and Provincial in the administration 
of the country. In the new scheme, each important 
province was to have an Agricultural College and a 
Research Institute of its own, and the number of 
experimental farms was to be considerably increased. 
Plans for new Agricultural Colleges and Research 
Institutes at Cawnpore, Lyallpur, Poona, Nagpur, 
Coimbatore and Sabour were prepared and steps were 
taken to recruit for each province a scientific stall: on the 
lines of that already in residence at Pusa. Simultaneously, 
the organization of the work to be carried on in the 
Districts was taken in hand. The ideal kept in view from 
the beginning was an experimental farm for each 
important distinct agricultural tract. The chief provinces 
were divided into Circles, the experimental farms of 
which were placed in charge of an expert agriculturist 
(the Deputy Director of Agriculture) trained in general 
agricultural science and practical farming. The head- 
quarters of the Deputy Director were placed at his 
most important experimental farm. His duties consisted 
in the supervision of all the agricultural work in the circle 
including the experiment stations, demonstration plots, 
the testing and distribution of seeds, implements and 
Special manures. He was, in short, expected to be the 
guiding spirit in all matters relating to agriculture in his 
circle. The duties of the scientific members of the 
Provincial Agricultural Departments were laid down 
in an official memorandum on the subject, published by 
the Inspector-General of Agriculture (Agr. Jour, of 
India, I, 1906, p. 1) in the following words : " The 
Specialists will be located at the Provincial Research 
Institute, and will not only conduct research work in 
their laboratories and their headquarters experimental 
farm, but will tour throughout the Province, visiting all 
experiment stations, guicfing the work connected with 
their special branch and inquiring into the local conditions 



THE ORGANIZATION OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 25 

of all tracts. The Agricultural Chemist will investigate 
all chemico-agricultural matters. The region in which the 
Agricultural Chemist will employ himself includes not 
only the chemical analysis of agricultural materials (such 
as soils, waters, manures, feeding stuffs, crop products 
and the like), but also the investigation of special problems. 
Amongst the problems ripe for investigation may be 
mentioned the exhaustion of the soil by the present 
modes of cultivation ; the amount of nitrogen in the 
rainfall and the loss of soil constituents by drainage ; the 
nature, origin and removal of saline efflorescences; the 
use of indigenous material for artificial fertilizers ; the 
sugar-content of different varieties of sugar-cane and the 
causes affecting it; the date and palmyra palm sugars ; the 
system of tobacco curing; sewage from an agricultural 
standpoint. The duties of the Economic Botanist include 
an investigation of the economic uses of agricultural 
plants ; a botanical study of the field and garden crops ; 
the testing of varieties ; the transfer of useful varieties 
from tract to tract ; the production of new and improved 
varieties by selection and cross-fertilization ; the testing 
of likely exotic plants. The Mycologist will study fungus 
life in the soil in its relation to plant food, and all fungus 
diseases of plants, amongst which may be mentioned 
wheat rust, linseed rust, potato blight, the pepper vine 
diseases, red-rot in sugar-cane, the wilt disease of the 
pigeon pea, rusts of millets, smuts of cereals, paddy 
diseases, the opium poppy blight, diseases of ginger, 
turmeric and egg plants, all of which cause great losses 
to the cultivator. The Entomologist will investigate the 
great number of insect pests injuring the crops and the 
means of introducing into general use practical remedies. 
For the present it will be necessary to fill most of these 
appointments with specialists recruited from Europe and 
elsewhere, but later on it is hoped that the Pusa College 
will provide suitable candidates from its best students." 
It will be seen that the organization of research was based 
on the separate science and that the problems of Indian 
Agriculture were to be approached by a n amber 
of specialists working independently at a Research 
Institute. 



26 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

In order to co-ordinate the work of the Imperial and 
Provincial Departments the Board of Agriculture, con- 
sisting of the staff of the Agricultural Departments, was 
set up in 1905. At first this board met annually and for a 
number of years accomplished a large volume of useful 
work. As was inevitable in a new undertaking of this 
character, the discussion of programmes of research and 
the method of approach best suited to the larger problems 
of Indian agriculture occupied a good deal of space in the 
earlier proceedings. This continued till 1916, when ft 
was generally felt that with the growing experience 
of the workers the submission and discussion of 
programmes no longer served any useful purpose. To 
prevent overlapping, the general relations between the 
investigators at Pusa and in the provinces were defined, 
the scope of the former being restricted to investigations 
involving the application of each science to the broad 
general problems of Indian agriculture. In 1908 and 
subsequent years, interesting discussions took place on 
the best methods of bringing improvements to the notice 
of the cultivator. In 1911, important decisions were 
reached on the need of closer relations between the 
two independent departments dealing with Co-operation 
and Agriculture. At the same meeting, agreement was 
reached on the principles underlying the distribution 
of improved seed to cultivators. 

The rapid expansion of the provincial Departments 
of Agriculture was followed by a change in the 
administration. The work on Land Records which 
includes the collection and examination of annual 
Statistics of the important agricultural and economic facts 
of each village, district and province was separated from 
Agriculture and two departments were created, each 
under a civilian director. From the beginning, the 
co-operative movement has always been kept separate 
from the work entailed in the improvement of agriculture 
proper. 

Up to the present time, the organization of 
agricultural research in India by the state has proceeded 
on the lines laid down in 1&06. A number of additions 
to the structure have been made but no alterations in the 



THE ORGANIZATION OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 27 

principles of organization have taken place. As a result 
of retrenchment in 1914, the research work on the 
diseases of farm animals, carried out by the Government 
of India at Muktesar and Bareilly, came directly under 
the Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India. 
Shortly afterwards, a change in the reverse direction 
was carried out in the provinces. Veterinary work was 
controlled by the Director of Agriculture till 1919 when 
it was separated from Agriculture and placed in charge of 
a* Veterinary Adviser to Government. In 1913 the 
Imperial Department of Agriculture subsidized a cane- 
breeding station at Coimbatore in Madras and later on 
created a Sugar Bureau with headquarters at Pasa. 
In 1916 the post of Imperial Dairy Expert was created 
with headquarters at Bangalore where a second bureau 
the Bureau of Animal Husbandry is now being 
organized. In 1923 the Physiological Chemist was moved 
from Pusa to Bangalore. In 1919, the post of Imperial 
Cotton Specialist was abolished. In the provinces, the 
chief developments in recent years have taken place 
in the investigations on crops. It was found impossible 
for the Economic Botanists to teach in the Agricultural 
College and also to carry out research work on crops. 
These posts have been duplicated and in some cases crop 
specialists for cotton, fibres, rice and millets have been 
appointed in addition to the ordinary cadre. Additions to 
the original staff have also been made for agricultural 
engineering and (in the Punjab and Sind) for research 
into irrigation problems. 

The development of agricultural research since 1904 
gave birth to a number of other schemes dealing with the 
same subject. Among official developments outside the 
Agricultural Department, the recent extension of the 
cultivation of Cinchona and the manufacture of quinine 
near Darjeeling, in Madras and Burma, may be mentioned. 
The work on the growth and manufacture of tea, 
started many years ago and at first subsidized by the 
central government, has developed into a large research 
department with its headquarters at Toclai in Assam and 
with its own publication. Tttese investigations are now 
entirely supported by the Indian Tea Association. An 



28 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

experiment station devoted to the problems of the lac 
industry, and financed by a special lac cess, is now in 
operation at Ranchi. Near Allahabad, an Agricultural 
Institute, dealing chiefly with dairy problems, has been 
founded by Dr. Sam Higginbottom with the help of funds 
raised mostly in the United States. 

A recent departure in the conduct of research work 
has just taken place. All matters relating to the 
production, improvement, trade and utilization of cotton are 
now dealt with by the Indian Central Cotton Committee, 
an unofficial organization which may be described as 
a republic of cotton. At first an advisory body, this 
committee is now incorporated with funds of its own 
derived from a small tax of two annas a bale (400 Ib.) on 
all cotton used in the Indian mills and exported from the 
country. The committee consists of about forty members 
representing the cotton growers, the cotton trade and the 
research workers engaged on this crop. The co-operative 
movement has a special representative of its own. 
Thanks to the invaluable services rendered by the 
merchant princes of Bombay and of other parts of India, 
the Indian Central Cotton Committee in the few years of 
its existence has accomplished a large amount of work 
and has served to demonstrate the great value of an 
unofficial association of this character both for the 
regulation of the trade itself and also for the efficient 
conduct of research. On the commercial side, the 
committee has put forward concrete proposals for dealing 
with the mixing and adulteration of raw cotton. These 
have been adopted by the Government of India and have 
become law in the shape of two Acts of the Legislature 
one relating to the transport of cotton, the other to the 
marking of cotton bales. These measures will enable 
the trade gradually to remove the existing abuses and 
will pave the way to the ultimate establishment of 
definite grades of Indian cotton in the markets of the 
world. On the research side, the committee has establish- 
ed a Research Institute and Testing House at Matunga 
(Bombay) for the investigation of questions relating to 
the cotton fibre and for the* trial, under standard condi- 
tions, of new types of cotton produced by agricultural 



THE ORGANIZATION OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 29 

workers in India. The committee has also furnished 
the capital cost and a large portion of the recurring ex- 
penditure of the new Institute of Plant Industry at Indore, 
where particular attention is being paid to the problems 
connected with the production and improvement of raw 
cotton. The foundation of this Institute marks a definite 
departure from the existing organization of agricultural 
work in India. In place of the conventional approach by 
way of the separate science, the plant will be regarded as 
the centre of the subject. A knowledge of several 
sciences, of practical agriculture and of the requirements 
of the trade will be brought to bear simultaneously on 
the chief problems presented by cotton and other related 
crops. Grants are also made by the Cotton Committee 
towards the cost of a number of important investigations 
in the provinces and for the training of post-graduate 
students. Besides these activities, the committee is 
undertaking a systematic examination, province by 
province, of the marketing and finance of the cotton crop, 
the earlier results of which have recently been published. 

Besides the formation of the Indian Central Cotton 
Committee another unofficial organization has grown up 
which is exercising a considerable influence on agricultural 
research. This is the Indian Science Congress which 
since its inception in 1914 has steadily progressed and 
has now established itself as an important factor in 
scientific investigation in India. The Agricultural Section 
of the Congress not only affords a convenient meeting 
ground for workers interested in the subject but has 
initiated a number of joint discussions with the other 
sections which have done much to stimulate investigation 
and to widen the general outlook. 

In 1919, an important change took place in the 
control of agricultural work in India. Agriculture in 
the provinces became a transferred subject and was placed 
in charge of an Indian Minister responsible to the 
new Reformed Councils which are composed of a majority 
of elected unofficial members. Shortly afterwards, the 
recruitment of officers by tbp Secretary of State ceased, 
the existing European members of the Provincial De- 
partments being given the opportunity of leaving India on 



30 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGBICULTUEE 

proportionate pension. A large number took advantage of 
this privilege and were replaced by young recruits. These 
changes, coupled with an intensive retrenchment campaign, 
an aftermath of the Great War, lowered for a time the 
general morale and reduced the output of the Department. 
Further, a great deal of criticism on the conduct of the work 
was heard in the Councils, expenditure was curtailed and 
it was frequently urged that all the government farms 
except those dealing with definite experiments, should 
pay their working expenses and if possible make a profit. 
This phase is now passing. The interest taken in the 
development of agriculture by the Secretary of State and 
the Viceroy coupled with the investigations of the Royal 
Commission on Indian Agriculture (which commenced 
work in India in October 1926 and completed its labours 
in April 1928) have produced a change in public opinion. 
A growing interest on the part of the intelligentsia in the 
development of India's greatest industry is taking shape. 
At the same time the Councils are settling down to 
constructive work and the volume of destructive criticism 
is diminishing. There is every indication that the 
proposals of the Eoyal Commission for the uplift of rural 
India are receiving careful consideration all over the 
country. Should they secure the active support of the 
Ministers and of the Provincial Councils, there is little 
doubt that agricultural research will enter on a new 
phase. 

Such in brief is the history of agricultural research 
in India from 1903 up to the time of writing (August 1928). 
The reader interested in further details will find in an 
appendix (page 87) a brief directory of the Imperial and 
Provincial Departments of Agriculture which will enable 
him to get into touch with the administration, the research 
officers, the experimental farms, and the staff working 
in the districts. 

The total expenditure incurred by the Imperial 
and Provincial Departments of Agriculture during the 
financial year ended 31st March 1927 amounted to 
Rs. 1,31,23,821; the total t receipts for the period were 
Rs. 27,73,648. The net expenditure for the year 1926-27 
was therefore R0. 1,03,50,173 (776,263). This works out 



THE ORGANIZATION OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 31 

at about 9 pies per acre of the cultivated area and 8 pies 
per head of population in British India. 1 

From the point of view of the ideal instrument for 
present day needs it must be confessed that the 
Agricultural Department requires a considerable amount 
of reconstruction. 

On the research side, the chief problems now 
awaiting solution and the conventional method of approach 
fry means of the separate science bear little relation the 
one to the other. The attack is made on too narrow a 
front. In the early days of the department it is true that 
the approach by means of the single science yielded a 
large number of useful results on which the whole 
edifice now rests. The end of this preliminary harvest is, 
however, in sight. The investigators are now face to 
face with new questions which cannot be solved 
successfully by the old methods. The great problems 
underlying crop-production and animal husbandry are 
much wider than the limits of any one particular science. 
They require for their solution a considerable knowledge 
of several sciences, a long experience in research work as 
well as a first hand acquaintance with agriculture itself. 
If all this is not brought to bear simultaneously, the 
result can only be the accumulation of more data which 
may or may not be useful to some master-builder of the 
future. 

Viewed from the standpoint of the development of 
the country-side as a whole, the great weakness of the 
work in the districts is that it has never covered the 
whole subject. Although much valuable work has been 
done, particularly in seed-distribution, finance has been 
omitted altogether and the human factor has been dealt 
with to a very small extent. Much more attention should 
have been paid from the very beginning to the village 
as a whole, to its people, to their ideas, and to their 
general condition and outlook. A persistent effort 
should have been made, when the subject was discussed 
some fifteen years ago, to amalgamate co-oper- 


1 12 pies=l anna; 16 annas = I rupee ( Is, 6d.), 



32 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

tive work 1 with agricultural demonstration and to 
evolve a system of co-operative demonstration for the 
villages in which the same agency supplies credit for the 
express purpose of carrying out improvements in 
production. Officers engaged in extension work should 
confine their activities to the village and its people and 
should not attempt to unite this with investigations, which 
are best carried out at an experiment station. 

To cope with the situation as it exists to-day a good 
deal of reorganization is necessary. The experiment 
station side of the work will have to be very considerably 
strengthened. Investigation will have to be restricted to 
questions which really matter. On the extension side, 
rural development will have to be taken up as a whole 
and not piecemeal. These matters are dealt with in 
greater detail in the remainder of this volume. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Annual reports of the Indian Central Cotton 
Committee, Bombay, 1922 to 1928. 

Holmes, J. D. E. The Imperial Bacteriological 
Laboratory, Muktesar : Its Work and Products. Calcutta, 
1913. 

1 The cultivators of rural India come in contact with the co-operativo 
movement mainly as members of the primary societies. These follow the 
plan originally devised by Raiffeisen in 1819. This reformer brought 
together small bodies of peasants into societies for the purpose of obtaining 
credit by pledging their unlimited liability. The funds so obtained were 
strictly supervised by an elected committee who gave their services gratis. 
A primary agricultural co-operative credit society is composed of a 
number of individuals who combine together to obtain the credit necessary 
for their agricultural operations. To make this possible each becomes 
liable for the debts of the society to the extent of the whole of his assets. 

A general account of the co-operative movement in India is to be 
found in the first volume of the India of To-day series published by the 
Oxford University Press. The progress made up to the beginning of the 
Great War was dealt with in the Report of the Committee on Co-operation, 
Simla, 1915 (known as the Maclagan Report). The student will find the 
latest details on the subject in the Bombay Go-operative Quarterly, in 
the Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of Registrars o/ Co-operative 
Societies in India, Calcutta, 1926, and in Statements Showing the Progress 
of the Co-operative Movement <in India during the year 1920-27, 
Calcutta, 1928. In these various publications practically everything 
which bears on the subject can be traced without difficulty, 



THE ORGANIZATION OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 33 

Howardt A. Agriculture and Science, Presidential 
Address to the Indian Science Congress. Calcutta, 1926. 

Proceedings of the Board of Agriculture in India. 
Calcutta, 1905-1926. 

Progress reports on Indian Agriculture. Calcutta, 
1907-1928. 

Reports of the Pusa Research Institute. Calcutta, 
1904-1928. 

. Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture in 
India. Calcutta, 1928. 

Sly, F- G. The Department of Agriculture in India, 
Agr. Jour, of India, I, 1906, p. 1. 

Sly, F. G. Conditions of Service in the Agricultural 
Departments of India, Agr. Jour, of India, I, 1906, 
p. 159. 

Voelcker, J. A. Report on the Improvement of 
Indian Agriculture. London, 1893. 

Watt, G. Dictionary of Economic Products of India. 
Calcutta, 1891. 



CHAPTER IV 

SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 

In this chapter an attempt will be made very briefly 
to indicate the main practical results which have bp,en 
obtained in India since 1904, when the present Depart- 
ment of Agriculture started work. Those relating to crops 
and soils have recently been summarized in Crop- 
Production in India, in which some suggestions relating 
to future work have also been made. Many matters 
relating to cattle and to the diseases which afflict them 
have been discussed at a number of conferences which 
have been held in recent years. In the space available it 
will only be possible to mention the more important 
developments. The reader who wishes to obtain further 
details should study the literature cited on pages 55-6 
and also consult the twenty-three volumes of the 
Agricultural Journal of India which so far have been 
published. Matters connected with animal husbandry are 
now dealt with in a new quarterly The Journal of the 
Central Bureau for Animal Husbandry and Dairying in 
India the first number of which appeared in April 1927. 

CROPS 

Although the organization of the Indian Agricultural 
Department includes research in most of the sciences 
bearing on the subject, nevertheless practical results have 
been more readily obtained in some branches than in 
others. All advances in Indian agriculture must 
necessarily proceed from the basis of small holdings, 
cultivated by a peasantry for the most part in debt. 
The line of least resistance has, therefore, to be taken. 
This lies in providing the cultivator, at moderate rates, 
with seed of better yielding varieties of the crops grown, 
so that production can be increased without any extra 
expense on his part. In this way, the position of the 
peasant is improved and, what is still more important, 



SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 35 

confidence is established. Hence the great attention 
which has been paid to the distribution of seed of the 
improved varieties of the chief crops of India which 
have been isolated in recent years and the immediate 
success of this work. At a conservative estimate, made 
in 1926-27, these improved varieties covered no less than 
8,815,555 acres. If twelve rupees an acre is taken as the 
average additional profit made by the adoption of these 
varieties, the annual value of the crops of India has been 
enhanced by over ten and a half crores of rupees 
(,7,875,000). Moreover, this amount is rapidly increasing. 
Important as this result is, it must not be forgotten that 
much greater progress could have been made but for one 
great obstacle, namely, the fact that the Indian cultivator 
is uneducated and cannot be reached by the printed word. 
How greatly the illiteracy of the peasant has hampered 
the work of rural development in India will be realized if 
the spread of the new varieties of Pusa wheat is compared 
with that of Marquis in Canada and the Northern States 
of the Union. As regards the degree of improvement 
there can be no question. The Pusa varieties are a much 
greater advance on the average types grown in India 
than Marquis is above the kinds it replaced in North 
America. In fifteen years the Pusa wheats have covered 
a little over 2,000,000 acres. In about the same period, 
the area under Marquis has exceeded 20,000,000 acres. 

The chief characteristic of the crops of India is the 
great number of different kinds found in almost every 
field. This mixture of varieties was of little importance 
when the chief business of agriculture was to feed and 
clothe the indigenous population. Since the opening of 
the Suez Canal, conditions in India have changed and 
improved communications have now brought the fields of 
the cultivator in touch with the markets of the world. 
These markets provide raw material for various indus- 
tries which demand a uniform product and if possible 
one which does not vary much from year to year. In 
replacing the mixtures now grown by more efficient types, 
care must be taken to supervise the distribution of 
improved seed so that the mixed country crop is replaced 
over a large area by a single type. This should give a better 



36 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

yield and if possible command an enhanced price. To 
obtain these new types, three methods have been adopted 
acclimatization, selection and hybridization. With a few 
exceptions, such as the successful introduction of 
S48 sugar-cane in Rohilkhand, acclimatization has proved 
a failure in India. The isolation of the best constituents 
in the indigenous mixtures has been much more 
successful and has also cleared the ground for hybridi- 
zation the method by which the maximum results are 
likely to be obtained in the future. After an improved 
variety has been obtained, the next step is to organize 
and put into force an intensive method of seed distribution 
by means of which the country crop can be systematically 
replaced by the new type. When the area is large 
enough and the new type begins to reach the markets in 
quantity, the interest- of the trade is enlisted with a view 
to creating a constant demand for the improved product. 
In the following paragraphs, some of the more striking 
results obtained on crops are very briefly reviewed. A 
much more detailed account of these matters will be 
found in Crop-Production in India. 

Fibres. The area under cotton in India is in the 
neighbourhood of 25,000,000 acres ; the total yield varies 
from five to six million bales (each 400 lb.) The bulk of 
the crop comes from the black soil areas of the peninsula 
which produce the grade known as Oomras. On these 
soils, cotton is raised on the natural rainfall and the 
growth period is short. These conditions exclude a 
really long staple and favour rapidly maturing types. 
The main problem of this tract is to increase the yield 
and to unite with this character a somewhat better fibre. 
In Gujerat, in the southern areas of tha Bombay 
Presidency, in Hyderabad and in parts of Madras, 
the natural conditions enable a longer staple to 
be grown. In these areas, the improvement of the fibre 
becomes a much more important matter than in the 
Oomras tract. There are, therefore, two main cotton 
problems in India the increase in the yield per acre in 
the Oomras tract,, and tfye improvement in quality in the 
areas with a longer growth period. At the moment, 
more attention is being paid to the spread of better 



SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 37 

quality cottons in the longer staple tracts than to the 
extension of high yielding, short staple types on the 
black soils. The results of the various investigations on 
Indian cotton * are very encouraging and in 1926-27 the 
area under improved types exceeded 3,500,000 acres 
about 14 per cent of the total area under this crop. 

In the production of jute fibre north-east India 
possesses a natural monopoly which is not likely to be 
challenged by other countries. In 1927, the yield was 
estimated at 12,132,000 bales (each 400 Ib.) raised on an 
area of 3,847,000 acres. The normal yield of fibre is 
1330 Ib. per aero. The main problem in the improvement 
of jute is to increase the yield rather than to improve the 
quality which to a considerable extent is said to depend 
on the environment. This undertaking has been success- 
fully accomplished at Dacca. A high-yielding, disease- 
resistant typo (D154) of Corchorus capsularis L., round- 
podded jute, and an improved type (Chinsura green) 
of C. olitorius L., long-podded jute, have been introduced 
into general cultivation. On an average, these selections 
yield 250 Ib. more fibre per acre than the local varieties. 
In 1926-27 they occupied about 500,000 acres or thirteen 
per cent of the total area. The seed distribution schemes 
in this crop have been seriously interfered with by a 
shortage of seed due to the fact that although Bengal is 
eminently suited to the growth of fibre, the yield of seed 
is poor. It might pay to divide the jute industry into 
two parts the production of the fibre in Bengal and the 
growth of improved seed in tracts like Eohilkhand and 
Oudh. The storage and distribution of jute seed present 
no great difficulties. 

Cereals. Among the cereals grown in India wheat 
and rice have received most attention on the part of 
agriculturists. In both crops, successful results have 
been obtained and the seed of improved varieties is now 
being distributed to cultivators on a large scale. 

The area under wheat is about 30,000,000 acres; the 
yield is in the neighbourhood of 9,000,000 tons. About 



1 These arc published periodically by the Indian Central Cotton 
Committee. 



38 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

three-quarters of the total produce comes from the drier 
alluvial tracts of north-west India. Most of the crop is 
consumed locally and even in favourable years not more 
than ten per cent is exported. The yield is almost 
everywhere limited by two factors shortness of the 
growth period and an insufficient supply of combined 
nitrogen. In some seasons, the moisture in the soil is 
also in defect. The essential requirement in an efficient 
variety of Indian wheat is speed of growth. Types 
which cannot ripen a crop under unfavourable con- 
ditions are useless. A good deal has been accomplished 
in the improvement of wheat since the subject was 
considered in 1906. It has been found possible to unite 
in the same variety high yielding power, high grain 
quality, rapid growth, strong straw and a fair degree of 
rust-resistance. Schemes of seed distribution, suited to 
the needs of the cultivator, have been devised and put 
into force in the United Provinces and other parts of 
India. At a conservative estimate, made in 1926-27, the 
area under these new wheats was nearly 3,000,000 acres. 
The increased profit to the growers, at fifteen rupees an 
acre, amounted to over three million sterling a year. 
At the moment the most pressing problem in wheat 
production in India is the spread of intensive cultivation 
coupled with the reduction in the volume of irrigation 
water used in raising this crop. Ground has been broken 
in this direction. When the amount of organic matter 
in the soil is increased, yields of over thirty maunds to 
the acre have recently been obtained with only one 
watering. For example, at Quetta in 1919, an acre plot in 
good condition gave on the preliminary irrigation before 
sowing, supplemented by 6*77 inches of winter rain, 
2,686 lb. of grain and 4,715 Ib. of straw. At Shahjahan- 
pur in the same year, an area of 3-4 acres of Pusa 12 
after sugar-cane on the Java system gave 36*5 maunds 
per acre on one irrigation. A great deal remains to be 
done to show the cultivators how to obtain similar 
results. 

Rice is the most important crop in India and covers 
about one-third of the total cultivated area. In 1926, the 
area under this cereal was 79,233,000 acres; the estimated 



SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 39 

yield was 29,636,000 tons. Over 90 per cent of the crop 
is consumed locally : except in Burma the export 
trade in this cereal is small. Land under rice seems 
to be able to manure itself provided the supply of 
water is adequate. Unlike most other cereals, large 
yields are produced by the same land year after year 
without the addition of any nitrogenous manure. In 
Spite of continuous cropping, no diminution in fertility 
seems to be taking place ; the gains and losses of nitrogen 
appear to balance each other. More important than the 
nitrogen supply is the question of drainage. The 
maintenance of sufficient permeability in rice soils, so as 
to allow of a slow stream of aerated water from the 
surface to the roots, is an important matter. The 
addition of green- manure and of various substances such 
as sodium sulphate, magnesium sulphate and super- 
phosphate appear to be of service in this respect. Work 
on the improvement of the variety grown is being 
carried on at a number of stations Dacca, Coimbatore, 
Mandalay, Karjat and other places. At the moment, the 
main plank of the rice platform consists in the isolation 
of all the promising unit species found in the ordinary 
crop and their comparison (as regards yielding power) 
under experiment station conditions. Breeding work is 
also in progress at Dacca and Coimbatore. The investi- 
gations on rice have been attended by considerable 
practical success. Heavy yielding types have been 
isolated, tested and made the basis of successful schemes 
of seed distribution. In 1926-27 the total area under 
these improved types was over 882,547 acres or about 
1-1 per cent of the total area. 

Sugar-cane. India is an importing country as far 
as sugar is concerned and every year has to spend largo 
sums in the shape of exports to make up for the shortage. 
During the twelve months ending 31st March 1927 
about 917,000 tons of sugar were imported into India. 
The estimated area under cane in 1926-27 was 2,920,000 
acres ; the average yield was about one ton of sugar 
per acre. Seventy-five per cent of the produce comes 
from a broad strip of the Intlo-Gangetio plain, lying 
alongside the Himalayas and stretching from Gurdaspn? 



40 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

on the west to Darbhangha on the east. Contrary 
to expectation, the crop is of minor importance 
in tropical India. Two main problems are involved in 
the improvement of sugar production in India the 
increase in the sugar produced on each acre of land and 
the reduction of the cost of each ton of cane grown. 
During and immediately after the Great War, when the 
world's supplies of sugar were greatly restricted, large 
profits were made in India by the cultivation of sugar- 
cane. This period of prosperity has come to an end. 
The increased areas under cane in Cuba and of sugar-beet 
in Europe have led to a period of over-production and 
of low prices. In spite of the protection afforded by an 
import duty, many Indian sugar factories have ceased to 
earn a profit. The only effective remedy for the present 
conditions is the reduction of the cost of production. 
Important steps have been taken in this direction. The 
Java system of growing cane in trenches, by which the 
yield per acre can at least be doubled is being introduced 
in the chief sugar tracts of the United Provinces by the 
Shahjahanpur Experiment Station. To obtain the most 
out of this method of cultivation, a new cane of Java 
origin, known as S48, is being widely grown in 
Rohilkhand and parts of Oudh. The net result has been 
the general introduction, in the chief sugar producing 
area of India, of intensive cultivation combined with an 
improved variety. It is only a question of time for this 
improvement to become universal. In a few years it 
should do much, assisted by the present import duty 
on sugar, to enable the industry successfully to withstand 
competition from other countries. Important work on the 
improvement of the indigenous varieties has been carried 
on at Coimbatore. At this station, new seedling varieties 
are being created. Thousands of plants have been raised 
of which a few notably Co. 205, Co. 210, Co. 213, Co. 214 
and Co. 290 -have proved successful in North Bihar, 
in the neighbouring tracts of the United Provinces, 
in the Agra Division, and in the eastern Punjab. 
The introduction of these new seedlings in north Bihar 
is due to the efforts of the Sugar Bureau, which in 
addition provides the trade with the latest information 



SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 41 

on prices and Stocks. It was a fortunate circumstance 
that -when the recent fall in the price of sugar took 
place, the growers had been provided by the Agricultural 
Department not only with an improved method of 
cultivation but also with superior varieties. But for 
this a much greater reduction in the acreage under 
cane might have occurred. In 192G-27, the area under 
improved varieties of cane in India was estimated at 
207,989 acres. 

Other Crops. Besides the work on fibres, cereals 
and sugar-cane, a number of other crops oil-seeds, 
tobacco, fodder-crops, gram and millets have been 
studied. In many cases the results are beginning to be 
adopted by the people. Notable progress has already 
been made in the case of ground-nuts, tobacco and 
fodder crops. 

Ground-nuts thrive best on well-drained, open soils 
where the rainfall is well distributed. Self-fertilization 
is the rule in this crop and the species is made up of 
a wide range of types differing greatly in growth period, 
in habit and in yielding power. The problems involved 
in its improvement are simple the isolation of rapidly 
maturing, disease-resistant types which suit the soil and 
moisture conditions of each tract and the provision, 
where necessary, of sufficient organic matter for rapid 
growth. By the introduction of new varieties of 
ground-nut in the early part of this century, the 
so-called tikka disease which did so much damage in 
Bombay and Madras was overcome. A number of 
foreign varieties were introduced and tested. The 
results were singularly successful. Not only was the 
industry saved but a large extension of cultivation took 
place in the chief centres of production Madras, Burma 
and Bombay. The crop also spread to new areas 
Bundelkhand, Orissa, the Central Provinces and Chota 
Nagpur. These earlier efforts have been followed in 
the last few years by a notable advance in Khandesh and 
north Gujerat where the acreage under rapidly-growing 
types of high oil-content is f increasing. In 1912-13, 
the area in these two tracts" was only 4,500 acres ; 
by 1925-26 it had increased to 373,000 acres. The total 



42 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

area under ground-nuts in India in 1926-27 was 4,292,000 
acres more than three times the acreage of 1918-19. 

The area under tobacco in India is about a million 
acres of which about half occurs in Bengal and Madras. 
Two species are cultivated. In Madras, Bombay, Burma, 
Bengal and Bihar, where the climate is both warm 
and moist, ordinary tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum L., is 
grown. In the drier, colder regions of north-west 
India, where irrigation is essential or where, as in 
eastern Bengal, the growth period is shortened by the 
late subsidence of the rain inundation, Nicotiana rustica 
L., a robust, yellow-flowered species with a short 
growing period, predominates. Up till recent years, 
yield was the only matter of importance in tobacco 
growing in India. Except in the tracts where cigar 
tobaccos are grown Rangpur in Bengal and Dindigul 
and a few other centres in Madras little attention was 
paid to methods of curing or to the quality of the leaf. 
The main thing was to take off the ground as heavy a 
crop as possible and to include most of the stalk in the 
cured product. With the recent change in fashion from 
the hookah to the cigarette, combined with the 
establishment of modern cigarette factories, a demand 
for a cheap cigarette tobacco has arisen in India. This 
has been met by the provision of a type known as 
Pusa 28, a rapid and robust grower which gives a high 
yield of leaf of good colour, texture and flavour when 
cured with the smallest possible quantity of moisture in 
the country fashion. It is remarkable in its power 
of adaptation to widely different conditions and has 
done well, not only in Bihar but also in Burma, the 
Central Provinces, Central India and the "United 
Provinces. Up to 1924, seed for over 250,000 acres had 
been distributed. With the recent reduction in the 
customs duties on Empire grown tobacco in Great 
Britain, the prospects of establishing an export trade in 
Indian leaf have materially improved. Provided the 
cultivator can obtain an immediate and adequate reward 
for increased quality, there seems no reason why this 
trade should not develop. Leaf with good flavour, 
texture and colour has undoubtedly been and can be 



SOME RESULTS OP AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 43 

produced in India. The yield per acre however is 
likely to be less and the cost of production greater than 
is now the rule with the present coarse types. Moreover, 
better curing will involve more trouble and considerably 
more expense than the existing methods. The future 
therefore will depend on the eatisfactory sale of 
produce of high quality, a problem which still remains to 
be solved in India. 

A better supply of fodder is the foundation of the 
cattle question in India. Excellent breeds of work 
cattle and of buffaloes already exist ; the problem almost 
everywhere is to fill their stomachs. For this reason an 
increased and increasing amount of attention is being 
paid to fodder crops. The great advantage of silage in 
providing an easily stored and palatable fodder for the 
dry season, when no grazing is available, is being 
brought to the notice of the people. New crops are 
also being introduced, of which berseem (Egyptian 
clover ) is thriving in many parts of India. Introduced 
originally in Sind, it promises to do much in solving the 
fodder problem and also in improving the soil. Its rapid 
spread all over northern and central India has hitherto 
been hampered by the necessity of importing every year 
fresh seed from Egypt. In the plains, very little seed is 
set. Recently, however, an important step forward has 
been made. The cultivators in the North- West Frontier 
Province are now producing berseem seed for sale. 
If this supply proves adequate and an efficient system 
of seed-distribution can be organized, the spread of 
berseem is certain to be rapid. Only the fringe of two 
other important fodder questions has been touched, 
namely the intensive cultivation of fodder crops and the 
making of good leguminous hay in north-west India. 

SOILS, CULTIVATION AND MANURES 

Soils. During the last twenty years much valuable 
work has been carried out on Indian soils, the results of 
which aie scattered through the various publications of 
the Agricultural Department. It is impossible in the 
space available to do more than refer to the more important 
practical results obtained. 



44 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

The preservation of the surface soil of the country 
naturally precedes any question of its improvement. This 
matter has already been referred to (pp. 12-16) and great 
stress has been laid on the damage done by the annual 
removal of fine soil by erosion. These losses are easily 
preventable. The run-off must be controlled by a system 
of shallow ditches and led to the natural drainage lines 
of the country. In the planting districts this matter ia 
receiving attention. It has also been taken up in the 
Bombay Presidency where a Superintending Engineer is 
at work helping the people to carry out local schemes for 
the prevention of soil-erosion and for the proper regulation 
of the surface drainage. 

Among the more purely chemical investigations on 
the soils of India those relating to the formation of 
nitrates are perhaps the most useful in indicating the 
directions in which higher yields can be obtained. They 
were carried out at Cawnpore and at Pusa and show very 
conclusively that there are two periods in the year when 
nitrification is most active at the break of the rains and 
again at the beginning of the cold weather. In both cases, 
efficient soil aeration is a necessity for this process. 
Given a supply of air for the soil organisms and of 
organic matter in the right condition, the formation of 
nitrates is exceedingly rapid at both these periods. Tho 
result is a good crop if the sowings are timely and if a 
suitable variety is grown. The practical problem is to 
prepare a supply of fermented organic matter and to apply 
it to the soil at the right moment. In this matter the 
Indian cultivator has much to learn. His scanty supplies 
of manure are allowed to dry outside his house and are 
applied to the land in an undecayed and unfermented 
condition. After the seed is sown, the soil has to prepare 
this undecayed material at a time when all its energies 
should be devoted to providing the plant with food 
materials. Both these processes require large volumes 
of oxygen and thus compete for a substance likely to be 
in defect. The result is over- work and fatigue. Crop- 
production really consists^) f two processes which are best 
kept separate: (1) the *" preparation of food materials 
which should be done outside the field and (2) the growth 



SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 45 

of the crop the real work of the soil. The Chinese were 
the first to discover and to adopt this master idea. They 
go to infinite trouble to convert all sorts of refuse animal 
and vegetable matter into finely divided manurial earth 
ready for the use of the crop. This is incorporated into 
the soil before the seed is sown so that there is no loss of 
time and no harmful competition. The crop obtains all 
the nitrogen it needs, ripening is hastened and a good 
harvest is reaped. The proper preparation of animal and 
vegetable waste materials should be demonstrated without 
any further delay in every village in India. 

One great disadvantage of the conventional methods 
of attacking soil problems must be mentioned. In general, 
these are too static : the results only relate to the conditions 
at some particular moment of time. The evidence so 
obtained is therefore difficult to interpret when considered 
in relation to the growth of a crop. It must always be 
realized that crop-production is a process extending over a 
considerable period in time and is the resultant of a 
number of interacting soil factors such as the supply 
of moisture, the composition of the soil atmosphere, 
the nature of the soil population as well as the supply of 
dissolved salts. Some method of investigation which can 
integrate the effect of the various factors on the growth 
of the plant is therefore required. A somewhat novel 
way of studying soil problems is now being employed in 
India. This consists in using the plant itself to indicate 
the general soil conditions and its deficiencies. For this 
purpose, a knowledge of the distribution of the root-system 
and of the zones of root activity throughout the life of 
the crop are needed. This information has then to bo 
correlated with the above-ground development of the 
plant. In this way soil studies resolve themselves into 
problems of adaptation the relation of the plant to its 
environment. One great advantage of the method is that 
the investigator can obtain a continuous record of events 
from the time the seed is planted to harvest time. Such 
Studies have indicated a very important factor in soil 
chemistry in India which is, operating both on the 
alluvium and also on the black soils of the peninsula. 
This is the development of an intense colloidal condition 



46 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

which often prevents percolation altogether. The pore- 
spaces become water-logged for long periods and a 
condition is established which profoundly affects both 
the bacteriology and the chemistry of the soil. The plant 
reacts immediately. At first there is a cessation of root 
action followed sometimes by the destruction of the 
absorbing system except that on or near the surface. In 
one of the cases investigated, namely Java indigo, the 
establishment of the colloidal condition was eventually 
followed by the general wilting of the crop. In the case 
of cotton on the black soils a similar factor brings about 
a cessation of growth and leads to the postponement of 
flowering till late in the season. 

The improvement of surface drainage is not sufficient 
in itself to remove the colloidal condition. Something 
more is required. Very promising results have been 
obtained by the use of karanj cake and other 
similar substances which help in maintaining the soil 
texture during the rains. Besides the supply of food 
material for the crop, the preservation of the natural 
texture of the soil during long periods of wet weather is 
therefore one of the chief problems in Indian agriculture. 

Cultivation. The great contrast between the shallow 
cultivation of the Orient and the deeper tillage in vogue 
in Europe has exercised a profound influence on many of 
the improvers of Indian agriculture. At first sight it 
seems so certain that the work done by the primitive 
Indian plough, which only pulverises the surface, must 
bo inferior to that accomplished by an implement 
which works much deeper and also turns the soil upside 
down. Henco the persistent efforts which have been made 
to induce the cultivator to adopt soil inverting ploughs in 
place of his old-fashioned wooden implement The general 
introduction of the new method has been hampered by 
the limited strength of the work cattle who find soil 
inversion involves far too much work. As horses are not 
available in India for really deep tillage, the steam engine 
and the tractor have been introduced. It must be confessed 
that the response of ttye people to these innovations 
has been disappointing. Soil inverting ploughs have 
not been adopted generally to anything like the samo 



SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 47 

extent as some other devices of the West the sewing 
machine, the safety bicycle and the cheap American car, 
all of which cost much more money than an iron plough. 
In his attitude of aloofness to the soil inverting plough 
and to power cultivation, the cultivator may after all be in 
the right. The matter needs a very careful and a very 
critical study. Boil inverting ploughs cost more than 
country ploughs and moreover often do great harm by 
disturbing the levels of irrigated land and by interfering 
with the surface drainage in the monsoon fed areas. The 
question naturally arises Is soil inversion really needed in 
India ? This process has been developed in Europe for two 
purposes : the destruction of the weeds of stiff land by 
cutting off the light and the exposure of the soil to 
the pulverising effect of the frosts of winter. In India, 
neither of these factors is of any importance. If weeds 
can be uprooted in this country, the sun kills them 
at once : soil inversion is not necessary for the purpose. 
Dryness and heat take the place of frost in improving the 
tilth. Nevertheless deep cultivation is needed in India, 
particularly in connection with the eradication of 
deep-rooting grasses such as kans ( Saccharum spon- 
taneum L. ) and in cleaning the land. It must however 
be carried out by an adjustable sub-soiler which does not 
disturb the surface levels. The power needed for such 
deep sub-soiling must be within the means of the people. 
The problems of kans eradication and of deep cultivation 
have recently been dealt with in central India by the 
introduction of an adjustable sub-soiler drawn by four 
oxen walking abreast in a single yoke. By this means 
deep cultivation to a depth of eight inches is possible 
without soil inversion and without the use of steam 
engines or tractors. These results also suggest the solution 
of the problem of improved cultivation in India and the 
correct design and use of the iron plough. Most of the 
soils of India need an adjustable iron implement which 
works on the same principle as the country plough but 
which can be used for shallow, intermediate and deep 
cultivation. It must also be capable of being drawn by 
the ordinary cattle of the country. The Kans eradicating 
ploughs in use at Indore fulfil all these conditions and can 



48 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTUBE 

be used for surface, shallow, intermediate and deep culti- 
vation without any interference with the surface levels. By 
the addition of two mould boards these ploughs became 
useful ridgers. 

The implements used by the average Indian cultivator, 
although effective in their way, are capable of much 
improvement. In tracts like Gujerat for example, great 
progress has been made by the people themselves in 
working out methods of rapid interculturo suited to 
the soil and moisture conditions. The root of the matter 
in this tract is speed. A fast and powerful breed of work 
cattle has been developed. The crops are grown in 
straight lines ; Suitable implements for interculture have 
been devised. What has been accomplished by Gujerat 
must bo done for the people in many tracts of India. 
For each set of soil conditions more efficient implements 
must be designed. The practice of growing crops in 
lines with interculture should become universal, particu- 
larly in the irrigated tracts. In the Punjab, where there 
is often insufficient labour for reaping the wheat crop, 
bullock drawn reapers have been introduced to meet 
the difficulty. On the alluvium, simple adjustable 
harrows for breaking surface crusts are beginning to 
be taken up in the United Provinces and the Punjab. In 
the former province, one of the greatest needs is a 
spring-tine cultivator for keeping fallows clean and 
stirred during the rains. Once the people begin to adopt 
these implements, mass production and sale, on the lines 
worked out by Mr. Henry Ford for his cheap motor car, 
will be needed in India. 

Manures. Generally speaking, all attempts to solve 
the manurial problems of India by means of tho 
conventional methods of the West have proved a failure. 
Outside the estates of the European planters and the 
Government farms, the consumption of artificial manures 
is negligible. Until quite recently the sulphate of 
ammonia produced on the Indian coal fields, was exported 
to Java. This want of success is largely due to the 
fact that artificial manures do not supply what Indian 
soils really need, namely, fermented organic matter in a 
finely divided condition. By demonstrating the 



SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 49 

advantages of green-manuring on open, well aerated soils 
this cardinal defect has to some extent been met, but a 
great deal more remains to be done on this subject. 

In spite of the fact that much of the cow-dung 
is burnt, the solution of India's manurial problem is now 
in sight. What is needed is the concentration of all 
the available resources of the Agricultural Department on 
the proper utilization of every form of crop residue. 
These must be converted into finely divided organic matter 
by the methods in vogue in China, Korea, and Japan 
which have been so vividly described by King in Farmers 
of Forty Centuries. To accomplish this, the various plant 
residues are first broken up so that absorption of oxygen 
and water is easy. They are then mixed with earth, a 
little cow-dung or urine earth (to start the ferment- 
ation), wood ashes and water. In a short time the 
compost heap is transformed by the cellulose-destroying 
organisms into finely divided organic matter ready for 
rapid nitrification. This is exactly the material the soils 
of India require for producing heavy crops. Ordinary 
weeds, water-weeds like the water-hyacinth and green 
crops like Sann (after they have been withered) yield a 
similar product. By the application of Chinese compost 
at the rate of ten carts per acre the yield of cotton at the 
Institute of Plant Industry, Indore, has been more than 
doubled. It is only a matter of time and effective 
propaganda for these methods to be taken up generally 
all over the country. Two guiding principles must be 
clearly kept in view in this work. In the first place, the 
fields must not be overworked. The soil cannot ferment 
raw organic matter and grow a crop at the same time. 
These two things must be kept separate. The preparation 
of food materials for the plant must be carried on 
outside the field as in China. In the second place, the 
aim should be to introduce small fragments of finely 
divided fermented organic matter, ready for nitrification, 
into as many of the pore-spaces of the surface soil as 
possible rather than to add so many pounds of nitrogen, 
potash and phosphate to the %cre. The fine state of 
division of the manure at the time of application is 
perhaps of more consequence than the amount added. 



50 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

These two principles are most important because crop- 
production is a process in time and the period available 
for effective growth is severely limited. Everything must 
be ready for rapid development the moment the seed 
begins to germinate. Any delay is fatal and is paid for 
by a reduced yield. 

IRRIGATION 

As a reliable supply of irrigation water is the first 
condition of increased production in India, the 
agricultural engineers have devoted themselves to the 
improvement of wells and to the introduction of small 
ail engines for lifting water. In this work very 
satisfactory progress has been made. The supply has 
been increased in a large number of cases on the alluvium 
and also in peninsular India by connecting ordinary 
wells with the great subterranean supplies by 
means of a simple tube or by a circular passage in the rock. 
The water-supply of the well is now practically 
inexhaustible and the installation of a suitable engine 
and pump becomes a practical proposition. Recently 
this improvement has been carried a stage further. A 
form of irrigation, intermediate between the perennial 
canal and a good well, has been developed. This is the 
strainer tube-well, a device by which the water in the 
deep-seated layers of coarse sand can be raised to the 
surface by a pump driven by an oil engine. These 
installations are often 250 feet in depth and are capable of 
watering 200 to 400 acres. When cheap current becomes 
available in the eastern Punjab, there is certain to be a 
great development of this form of irrigation and it is not 
unlikely that the raising of water by cattle power from 
innumerable small surface wells will then give place to a 
few strainer tube-wells, each commanding several hundred 
acres and operated by suitable motors. When the time 
comes it will be interesting to see whether the best form 
of control will be of an official character or by the people 
themselves, grouped into some form of Co-operative 
Irrigation Society. 

The economics of the tube-well is a subject ripe for 
investigation. A balance sheet, in wljiich the capital 



SOME RESULTS OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH . 51, 

cost and working expenses of the installation are 
contrasted with the increased value of the crops and of 
the land, would be an interesting document. If the 
water is used with judgment, an increase in fertility 
should result and the tube- well would then furnish a 
powerful argument for the investment of money in the 
development of the soil of India. 

The discovery of the most effective method of using 
irrigation water has been greatly neglected in India. 
Under present conditions, canal water is assessed according 
to the area irrigated and according to the crop grown. 
This leads to the waste of valuable water and, what is far 
more serious, to tho gradual destruction of the natural 
fertility of the land, the rate of deterioration depending 
on the amount of over-watering and on the absence 
of rest from surface-flooding. Some system, in which 
the cultivator can be encouraged to use as little water 
as possible, and also to give the land a periodical 
irrigation-fallow, is required. The great advantage of 
resting the land between two irrigated crops is well 
seen in Sind where heavy crops of millets, which 
require large quantities of nitrogen, follow one another 
every two or three years without any manure beyond 
the intervening period of fallow. If a periodical 
rest from surface-flooding is not provided on fine 
alluvial soils, the fertility falls under intensive iirigation. 
At Mirpurkhas for example, the yield of wheat fell from 
759 Ib. per acre in 1908-09 to 372 Ib. per acre in 1913-14 
in spite of the rotation of crops combined with manuring. 
Further, when desert lands first come under irrigation, it 
is well known that fewer waterings are needed than are 
required in succeeding years. These results are a natural 
consequence of the loss of soil texture which follows 
surface-flooding on many soils. The soil particles, many 
of which are lenticular in shape, arrange themselves 
parallel to the surface and so reduce the total volume of the 
pore-space. This naturally diminishes percolation and 
reduces the air-supply of the soil. Best from irrigation 
appears to have the reverse effect and to re-create the 
characteristic open texture of desert soils. The obvious 
remedy is to us^ less water and to allow, every now and 



52 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGKICULTURE 

then, this natural recuperative process to have full play. 
This, however, must remain a counsel of perfection as long 
as water is sold according to the area watered. No 
incentive to use less is provided; the temptation to use 
the maximum is always in operation. Taking the long 
view, the trouble saved in ease of assessment is very dearly 
purchased by the deterioration of the land. Sale by 
volume is the obvious remedy. This, however, is 
impossible in practice unless the water is sold to the 
community in large parcels. For bulk sale, the first 
condition is an educated community capable of managing 
its own affairs. Nevertheless some improvement can be 
made in present methods. If each watering is charged 
for separately, the first step in water-saving will become 
possible. The well-known advantages of inundation, 
when followed by a period of rest, could then be introduced 
into a perennial irrigation system. The cultivators on 
the Canal Colonies would be able to take advantage of 
the fact that a very good crop of wheat can be grown 
on two waterings and that a fair crop is possible with 
only one. 

Intimately bound up with the proper use of irriga- 
tion water is the problem of alkali land. In the canal- 
irrigated tracts of north-west India, large areas are to be 
seen on the surface of which a saline efflorescence occurs 
as a snow-white or brownish-black incrustation, known 
as reli or kallar. The former (white alkali) consists 
largely of the sulphate and chloride of sodium, the latter 
(the dreaded black alkali) contains sodium carbonate in 
addition, and owes its dark colour to the fact that this 
salt is able to dissolve the organic matter of the soil. The 
salts of alkali land are not poisonous to plants but they 
prevent growth by abstracting water from the roots. 
This leads to the wilting of the crop. The soil popu- 
lation is also affected in a few years the land dies and 
becomes useless. No easy and inexpensive means is 
available for making it live again. Large stretches of 
this barren salt land already occur and with the spread of 
canal irrigation the area is increasing. One of the most 
urgent problems is to ascertain first of all the origin of 
the alkali condition and then to take steps v to prevent it. 



SOME RESULTS OP AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH 53 

Once this has been accomplished, the present cultivated 
area commanded by canals can be secured and the spread of 
this evil stopped. As the pressure of population increases, 
methods of reclamation can be taken in hand in the case 
of the large stretches of mild alkali land which occur in 
parts of Oudh. Whether or not it will ever be possible 
to reclaim, at a profit, the worst cases of salt land is a 
matter for future generations to decide. At the moment 
the resources of science are insufficient to solve this 
problem in its intense form in the plains of India. The 
game is not worth the candle. 

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY 

In the improvement of Indian cattle there is at 
present little to record. A great deal has been written 
on the subject in the past but only in recent years 
has there been any serious effort to study the subject and 
to devise simple improvements which are within the 
means of the people. Two great obstacles in raising the 
standard of the work cattle in India must be faced at 
the outset. The cow is a sacred animal. In the im- 
provement of the breed by modern selection methods, there 
is therefore no method available, as iix Europe, for the 
disposal of individuals which fall below a certain 
Standard. In India all sorts of bulls and cows are permit- 
ted to exist and to breed. It becomes exceedingly difficult 
therefore to raise the general standard in any breed. The 
country is cumbered with poor cattle all of which 
consume valuable food. The second great obstacle is 
the need for maintaining two different species oxen for 
work and buffaloes for milk. Attempts are being made 
at the Institute of Animal Husbandry, Bangalore, to 
produce dual purpose animals which will render the 
buffalo superfluous but so far this has not been 
accomplished in practice. The earlier experiments for 
achieving this object by crossing Indian cows with 
imported Ayshire bulls have not proved a success. Although 
the cows from the first cross proved to be heavy milkers, 
they are very prone to disease? like rinderpest and foot 
and mouth disease, and the resulting oxen of the first and 
subsequent generations are poor workers. More 



54 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

promising results are now being obtained in another 
direction. At several of the large cattle farms, chiefly at 
Hissar in the Punjab and at Madhuri in the United 
Provinces, the mass production of first class bulls for 
distribution to the zamindars is being taken in hand. 
These are taking the place of the sacred bulls of old 
India and are proving of great use in helping to maintain 
the best breeds of Indian work cattle. Results of promise 
are also being obtained by the introduction of silage arid 
by the better cultivation of fodder crops. In addition, 
detailed studies are being made of the chief breeds of 
cattle. A special laboratory has been established at 
Bangalore for the study of foods and feeding. There 
seems every prospect, therefore, that the volume of 
useful results on the work cattle of the country will 
rapidly increase. How far it will be possible to eliminate 
the buffalo and produce dual purpose cattle is a subject 
on which expert opinion is divided. It is a matter which 
will be settled by the results of experiments rather than 
by further discussion. 

In the earlier years of the present century, the 
cattle problems of India were approached indirectly from 
the pathological side. It was felt that the chief need was 
to preserve the existing cattle force by inoculating the 
animals against rinderpest and other diseases. Acting on 
this principle, a well equipped Institute for the manu- 
facture of various sera has been developed at Muktesar. 
In the provinces, Civil Veterinary Departments and 
Veterinary Colleges were also founded. As in the crops 
of India, the cattle problem was first approached from 
the disease aspect. It will be interesting to see how 
researches on the live stock of the country develop in 
the future and whether the various sections of the 
subject breeding, feeding, milk-production and disease 
can be welded together into a single branch of agriculture, 
namely animal husbandry, or whether the present separate 
sub- divisions of the subject will persist. Agriculture 
in India as in other countries falls into two main 
divisions crop-productio/i and animal husbandry. The 
evils which result when investigations follow the arti- 
ficial suJb-divisons of science rather than the problem 



SOME RESULTS 55 

itself are well known, One of the things to avoid in any 
future work on Indian cattle is fragmentation. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Annual Report of the Department of Agriculture in 
the Bombay Presidency, 192G-27. Bombay, 1928. 

Annual Reports of the Indian Central Cotton 
Committee, Bombay. 1922 to 1928. 

Brownlie, T. A. M. Mechanics of Tillage, Agr. Jour, 
of India, XVII, 1922, p. 119. 

Carberry, M., & Finlow, R. S. Artificial Farmyard 
Manure, Ar/r. Jour, of India, XXIII, 1928, p. 80. 

Clarke, G., Naib Hussain, M., & Banerjee, S. E. 
Notes on Improved Methods of Cane Cultivation. 
Allahabad, 1919. 

Clarke, G., Banerjee, S. C., Naib Hussain, M., & 
Qyaum, A. Nitrate Fluctuation in the Gangetic Alluvium 
arid Some Aspects of the Nitrogen Problem in India, Agr. 
Jour, of India, XVII, 1922, p. 463. 

Clouston, D. The Improvement of Cotton Cultivation 
in the Central Provinces Studied from an Economic Point 
of View, Agr. Jour, of India (Indian Science Congress 
Number), XII, 1917, p. 29. 

Hailey, H. R. C. Private Farms in Oudh, Agr. Jour, 
of India, XII, 1917, p. 519. 

Henderson, G. S. Berseem as a New Fodder Crop for 
India, Bull. 66, Agr. Research Institute, Pusa, 1916. 

Holmes, J. 1). E. A Description of the Imperial 
Bacteriological Laboratory, Muktesar, Its Work and 
Products. Calcutta, 1913. 

Hope, G. D. Note on Soil Denudation by Rainfall and 
Drainage : Conservation of Soil Moisture, Agr. Jour, of 
India, XI, 1916, p. 134. 

Howard, A., & Howard, G. L. C. Some Aspects of 
the Indigo Industry in Bihar, Mem. of the Dept. of Agr. 
of India (Botanical Series), XI, 1920, p. 1. 

Howard, A., & Howard, G. L. C. The Saving of 
Irrigation Water in Wheat Growing, Bull. 118, Agr. 
Research Institute, Pusa, 1921. 

Howard, A., & Howard, G. 1 L. C- The Improvement 
of Indian Wheat. A brief summary of the investigations 



56 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

carried out at Pusa from 1905 to 1924, including an 
account of the few Pusa hybrids, Bull 171, Agr. 
Research Institute, Pusa, 1928. 

Howard, A. The Water- Hyacinth and Its Utilization, 
Agr. Jour, of India, XX, 1925, p. 395. 

Howard, A. Crop-Production in India. Oxford, 1924. 

Howard, A- The Eradication of Kans (Saccharum 
spontaneum Lj, Ayr. Jour, of India, XXII, 1927, p. 39. 

King, F, H. Irrigation and Drainage. London, 1900. 

King, P. H. Farmers of Forty Centuries, or 
Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan. 
London, 1927. 

Mann, H, H. The Introduction of Improvements 
into Indian Agriculture, Agr. Jour, of India, V, 
1910, p. 6. 

Report of the Indian Cotton Committee. Calcutta, 1919. 

Report of the Indian Sugar Committee. Simla, 1921. 

Review of Agricultural Operations in India, 1926-27. 
Calcutta, 1928. 

Ritchie, J. H. Compost, Agr. Jour, of India, XXI, 
1926, p. 36. 

Some Recent Advances in the Protection of Cattle and 
other Animals against Disease (Papers from the Imperial 
Institute of Veterinary Research, Muktesar), Agr. Jour, 
of India, XX, 1925, p. 252, p. 367, and p. 429; XXI, 1926, 
p. 6, p. 95, p. 313, p. 351 and p. 419 ; XXII, 1927, p. 92 
and p. 281. 

The Improvement of Fodder and Forage in India 
(Papers read before a joint meeting of the Sections of 
Agriculture and Botany, Indian Science Congress, 1923), 
Bull. 150, Agr. Research Institute, Pusa, 1923. 

The Nitrogen Problem in Indian Agriculture, Proc. 
Tenth Indian Science Congress, Asiatic Soc. of Bengal, 
Calcutta, 1924, p. 243-61. 

Weaver, J. E, Root-Development of Field Crops. 
New York, 1926. 

Weaver, J. E., & Bruner, W. E. -Root-Development 
of Vegetable Crops. New York, 1927. 



CHAPTER V 

THE HUMAN FACTOR 

The experience of the last twenty years in the 
development of Indian agriculture has firmly established 
two principles. In the' first place, the application of 
science to this ancient industry has shown that 
considerable progress can be made and that with better 
organization still greater developments are possible. In 
the second place, the most formidable obstacle 
encountered in making practical use of the results 
obtained at the experiment stations is the unfavourable 
economic and educational condition of the Indian village. 
These are the chief causes of the poverty, indifference 
and illiteracy of the cultivator. They have helped to 
establish a condition of chronic indebtedness and a 
mentality enslaved by superstition. When it is 
remembered that the men and women, on whom all 
developments in Indian agriculture must depend, can 
neither read nor write and therefore cannot be reached 
by any form of literature, there is little wonder that 
progress is so slow. Such developments as have taken 
place have been the result of demonstration and 
persuasion carried on by men touring in the Districts. 
At the moment, this is done mostly by two independent 
agencies the Department of Co-operative Credit and the 
Department of Agriculture. The former provides funds; 
the latter useful ideas, improved seed, better implements 
and so forth. In cases where these two groups of 
activities have been directed by men of energy and 
initiative, the results obtained have been most gratifying. 
The most enthusiastic of these officers, however, would 
be the first to admit that up to the present only the 
merest beginnings in rural uplift have been accomplished. 

One disquieting fact ha*s been brought to light. 
Hitherto no yidespread desire for a better life has shown 



58 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

itself in the villages although there were some indications, 
immediately after the war, that this might be awakening 
among the more virile races of the Punjab. Nowhere 
have the people come forward, either directly or through 
their elected representatives on the Councils, with 
practical proposals for raising local funds for such objects 
as better roads, improved marketing facilities, efficient 
rural education and similar amenities. Everywhere it is 
the human factor which stands in the way of progress. 
It requires no argument therefore to prove that till the 
inhabitants of the villages of India can be awakened and 
till a general desire for rural uplift can be implanted in 
the people themselves, it must take centuries to effect any 
real and lasting development of rural India by such 
means as are now being employed. 

The question therefore arises Is it possible to deal 
more effectively with this human factor ? The answer 
would appear to depend on the way in which this matter is 
tackled. If the subject is first carefully studied, if 
adequate attention is devoted to the recognition and 
enunciation of the principles on which future action 
should be based, and if this reconnaissance is followed by 
a determined and long-continued effort to educate both 
the present and future generations, there is every reason 
to believe that the undertaking will succeed. It must 
always be remembered that agricultural improvements 
require intelligence and care and that something more 
than the conversion of the individual is needed. The new 
methods must be welded permanently into the rural 
economy. If the educational level is not raised, it is 
impossible to achieve lasting results by mere demonstration 
except at ruinous expense. Without the general 
enlightenment which follows education, a fresh beginning 
will have to be made with each succeeding generation, 
and no secure foundation for future progress will be 
laid. 

The problem of rural development in India reduces 
itself to this. It is not sufficient to apply science to Indian 
agriculture and to bring the results to the notice of the 
people. This is only half the battle. The people 
themselves must desire to make effective use of the 



THE HUMAN FACTOR 59 

results and to improve their general condition. In other 
words, they must be educated and must be taught how to 
think for themselves, how to read for themselves and 
how to act as an intelligent and progressive community. 
There are other very weighty reasons, apart from the 
need for general rural development, why this should be 
attempted. The new constitution, which has recently 
been given to India, is based on an electorate rural and 
urban. Practically the whole of the rural community is 
boyond the influence of the newspaper and of any form 
of literature. The village is, therefore, unable to take 
any intelligent interest in current events and cannot 
possibly exercise its proper influence on the future 
progress of the country. Ninety per cent of the population 
is to all intents and purposes disenfranchised. 
Nevertheless, this same population, as recent events have 
only too clearly shown, is peculiarly susceptible to 
agitation, which of late years has made the work of 
Government difficult. Everywhere this movement has 
been most effiective in the backward provinces and in 
the backward tracts, The time seems to have come 
when the subject of the mass education of the Indian 
country-side must be undertaken. The problem can be 
divided into two parts the education of the adult and 
the education of the child. In this chapter an attempt 
will be made to review the present position and to offer 
Some suggestions for the future. 

THE EDUCATION OF THE ADULT 

The problem of improving rural education in tracts 
where general poverty (combined with a low standard 
of production) is the rule, is not a new one. In the early 
days of the present century, the industrial and educational 
development of the southern states of America had 
fallen very much behind that of the north. At that 
time, rural conditions in the southern states resembled 
those which obtain to-day in the more prosperous areas 
of India. The population was poverty stricken and 
mainly agricultural. There was great backwardness both 
in education ?fnd in industries; the economic conditions 



60 DEVELOPMENT OP INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

were generally unfavourable. The average earnings of 
the agriculturist of the south were only about fifteen per 
cent of those of the farmer of the northern states. The 
problem was how best to help the backward south. 

The American people dealt with this matter in a 
thoroughly practical fashion. An unofficial body, 
known as the General Education Board, first made an 
educational survey of the south, state by state. The 
results were then discussed and monographs were 
prepared on tho various educational aspects of the 
problem. In other words, there was a very thorough 
reconnaissance before the battle and before any actual 
money was voted. The Board found that "No fund 
however large could, by direct gifts, effectively establish 
a system of rural schools, that even if it were possible 
to develop such a system by such means, it would bo 

a positive dis- service The rural school must 

represent community education, community incentive and 
community support, even to the point of sacrifice." It 
was, therefore, decided that it would be better to co-operate 
with the people and to teach them how to educate 
themselves than to foist upon them a programme of 
education from outside. In carrying out this policy, the 
following initial difficulties had to be overcome. "The 
people did not possess sufficient money. Adequate 
developments could not take place until the available 
resources of the population were greatly enlarged. School 
systems could not be given to them as they were not 
prosperous enough to support them. Salaries were too 
low to support a teaching profession. Competent 
professional training could not exist; satisfactory equipment 
could not be provided." All this was the result of rural 
poverty. The great bulk of the people were not earning 
enough to provide good schools. The prime need was 
money. The Board came to the conclusion that it could 
render no useful educational service till the farmers could 
provide themselves with larger incomes. They then went 
to the root of the matter and resolved that the first step in 
rural development in the southern states was to improve 
agriculture and to make tne soil yield a higher dividend. 
In carrying out this policy the Board was at first advised 



THE HUMAN FACTOR 61 

to address itself to the rising generation and to support the 
teaching of agriculture in the primary schools. After full 
consideration this plan was rejected. In the absence of 
trained teachers and of funds to pay them, such a scheme 
was impracticable. Further, it was considered unwise to 
force instruction in better agricultural methods on schools 
if the parents themselves did not realize the defects in 
their own methods. Until the public was convinced of the 
feasibility of superior and more productive agriculture, 
the rural schools could not be reconstructed: once the 
public was convinced and better able to stand the increased 
cost, the schools would naturally re-adjust themselves. 
"It was therefore deliberately decided to undertake the 
agricultural education not of the future farmer but of the 
present farmer, on the theory that, if he could be 
substantially helped, he would gladly support better 
schools in more and mor6 liberal fashion." 

The Board then set on foot an extensive enquiry as 
to the best method of showing the southern farmer how to 
increase his production. The man and the method were 
simultaneously discovered. The late Dr. Knapp of the 
United States Department of Agriculture was engaged to 
direct a system of Co-operative Farm Demonstration which 
proved singularly successful. The method employed and 
the results obtained should be closely studied by all 
interested in the Indian country-side. Production 
was doubled, the equipment of the farmers was 
improved, better houses were erected, and there was 
a marked change in the general surroundings of the home. 
The application of the principle of co-operation coupled 
with well thought-out demonstration work produced other 
results besides an increase in production and improvements 
in housing. The social and educational awakening of the 
South was one of the bye-products of the demonstration 
movement. The provision for schools steadily increased. 
In North Carolina and Arkansas for example, expenditure 
was more than doubled in twelve years and rose from 
2,461,055 dollars in 1901 to 8,579,478 dollars in 1913. 

There can be no question that the principles 
underlying the policy of the General Education Board of 
the United States apply with great force to Indian 



62 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

conditions. In India as in the southern states, the 
essential rural problem is to help the future generation. 
This, however, cannot be done effectively unless the 
support of the present adult population is enlisted and 
until they are made willing partners in the enterprise. An 
attempt to force education on an unwilling and hostile 
population would only court failure and lead to the waste 
of money on a colossal scale. Something more than 
consent is essential. The people must be taught to desire 
better education for their children and better villages for 
themselves and they must also contribute a portion of the 
cost. Unless all this is accomplished, there can be no real 
progress and the tree will not take firm root in village life. 
To a certain extent the problems of rural uplift in 
India have been dealt with on lines which at first sight 
closely resemble those adopted in the United States. The 
demonstration of agricultural improvements in the villages 
has been in progress for twenty years. The Civil 
Veterinary Department has been engaged in protecting the 
work cattle from diseases like rinderpest. More and 
more money has been devoted to the development of 
rural education and rural sanitation. Since its introduction 
in 1904, the Co-operative Credit Movement has increased 
in volume and impetus, particularly in the Punjab and 
Bombay. In the former province, villages are in existence 
to-day in which the evils attending the fragmentation of 
holdings have been removed with the consent of the 
people a co-operative result which twenty years ago 
would have been considered impossible. There is, 
however, one vital difference between the methods used 
in the southern states and in India. In America, 
rural development was surveyed as a whole, studied as a 
whole, and dealt with as a whole. In India there has 
been a lamentable fragmentation of effort which has 
resulted not only in a great waste of public funds but has 
also deprived the movement of its effectiveness. Moreover, 
the horde of minor officials who now deal piecemeal 
with the problems of the villager is more likely to 
exasperate than to awaken him from his present attitude 
of indifference to all forms of progress. One of these 
visitors deals with co-operative credit, a, second with 



THE HUMAN FACTOR 63 

improved seed and new implements, a third comes 
to inoculate the work cattle against rinderpest, a fourth 
inspects the village school, a fifth preaches the benefits 
of better sanitation and the advantages of dispensaries 
and so on. All those are attached to independent 
departments between which there is often little or no 
liaison. Moreover, these various departments often 
have no working plan in common. How much more 
could be done with the same amount of money if the 
development of the country-side could be looked at as a 
whole and if the work could be conducted by a single 
efficiently staffed department working on a well considered 
plan with an eye to the future as well as to immediate 
progress. 

It is pleasant to record that in one District in India, 
namely Gurgaon in the Punjab, a beginning has been 
made to awaken the villager on the lines adopted in the 
southern states of America. Thanks to the energy and 
initiative of Mr. F. L. Brayne, the late Deputy Com- 
missioner, a scheme of rural development suitable for the 
adult cultivator has been drawn up and put into force. 
The defects of the average village, of its roads, homes and 
fields are set out in vigorous and compelling phrase. 
This is followed by concrete suggestions for improvement 
which are well within the means of the people. If 
persisted in for a period of say twenty years, and if 
adequate financial support is provided, there is little 
doubt that active propaganda on these lines, carried out by 
a single efficient department dealing with rural problems, 
would, as in the United States, have two consequences. 
Crop-production would at least be doubled; the villages 
would be improved and the ground would be prepared 
for a system of compulsory rural education to which the 
people themselves would be ready and willing to contri- 
bute. As in the southern states, the spear-point of the 
new movement should be a vigorous policy of co- 
operative agricultural demonstration work. The activities 
of the present independent departments, which now deal 
with the cultivator, should in future be carried out by 
one agency. In this way the people could be taught how 
to help themselves and how to appreciate and make 



64 DEVELOPMENT OP INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

proper use of funds contributed by the State for the 
support of local movements. The gradual growth of a 
rural electorate, capable of intelligent co-operation with 
Government in the future development of India, would 
follow. 

THE EDUCATION OF THE CHILD 

There is a remarkable unanimity among all those 
who have studied primary education in the villages of 
India. Everyone is in agreement that the present state 
of this question is most unsatisfactory and that we are 
confronted with a problem on which little progress has 
hitherto been accomplished. Nothing can be more 
depressing than the review of mass education in this 
country in Mayhew's recent work The Education of 
India. This appeared in 1926 and its findings are amply 
confirmed by the writings of Calvert, Darling, Olcott and 
by the report of a commission of enquiry on village 
education which was published in 1920. In the follow- 
ing paragraphs full use has been made of these various 
works and particularly of Mayhew's account of the 
present condition of rural education. 

Although much has been done for elementary 
education in India since Gokhale drew attention to this 
Subject in the first decade of the present century, 
nevertheless no great progress in the battle against 
illiteracy has been achieved. Many schemes have been 
launched and much money has been spent. The Govern- 
ment of India's quinquennial review of education 
(1917-22) suggests that the number of people who can 
read a letter in the vernacular and write a reply thereto 
has not increased pari passu with the growth in expendi- 
ture. Mayhew considers this result is due to the fact 
that only the children of the literary castes are taking 
real advantage of the facilities now offered and that the 
attitude of aloofness and hostility of the villager towards 
education has not sensibly changed. This general result 
is confirmed by the Census report of 1921 in which it is 
Suggested that in the population above the age of twenty 
there has been no advance in effective literacy during the 



THE HUMAN FACTOR 65 

preceding ton years. An examination of the statistics of 
such rural schools as exist at the present time does little 
to shake the findings of the Census. Of the 685,665 
villages in India about three-quarters have no schools at 
all. Ninety-two per cent of the population is still 
illiterate ; half the members of the police force cannot 
read or write. The figures of enrolment in the village 
schools are of no real significance. The lower classes are 
crowded and there is a rapid falling off in numbers in 
the higher divisions. This is due to the fact that the 
parents regard the village school not as a place where 
their children can be taught how to read and write but 
as a creche in which the infants can be deposited with 
Safety. As soon as the boys are big enough to tend cattle 
and do other light tasks they are removed. They never 
learn to read and still less to write their own language. 
In the average village school there are no regular school 
hours ; the teacher has to collect the children from their 
homes and there are no regular dates of admission. Such 
records of attendance as exist are often unreliable. In 
100 schools checked in one day in the United Provinces, 
the total enrolment claimed was 8,303 ; the average 
attendance was 5,516 ; the actual day's attendance was 
only 4,903 (Quinquennial Review, 1917-22). If the 
total expenditure on these schools is divided by the 
number of boys who can read and write, a surprisingly 
high figure is obtained. The present cost of producing 
literated is far too great, much more than the country 
can possibly afford. 

Irregular attendance and the high cost of the results 
obtained are not the only faults of the village school. 
The buildings are poor, badly lighted and ill- ventilated. 
The gravest defect, however, is the unsatisfactory 
character of that factor which is more important than 
anything else the teacher himself. Miserably paid, often 
holding aloof from the people among whom his life is 
spent and without a well-defined status in the village, 
the lot of the average rural teacher leaves a great deal to 
be desired. When to these adverse factors are added 
the manifold defects inherent in the present voluntary 
system there is^ little wonder that the village schools 



66 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTUKE 

are totally inadequate instruments for the conquest of 
the illiteracy of rural India. The money spent on such 
a system can only result in inefficiency and waste. 

What is now required is a resolute and well-sustained 
effort on the part of the State to assist local bodies in the 
solution of Indian rural education in a practical and 
efficient fashion. Many factors are now favourable. 
Education is a transferred subject in charge of Indian 
Ministers responsible to the Provincial Councils. In such 
matters as the conduct of rural schools, the people govern 
themselves and there is little interference from above. 
The Universities are pouring out every year vast numbers 
of graduates, for the great majority of whom there is no 
work. The necessity for making rural education 
compulsory is becoming generally recognized; a statutory 
basis for compulsion has been provided by legislation 
in almost every province. Local bodies have been 
authorized to prepare schemes within their areas, to 
introduce them if approved by the provincial government 
and to levy special additional rates for the purpose. In 
the United Provinces for example, the assistance to be 
given by the State has been fixed on a very generous scale, 
namely, two-thirds of the total cost; the remainder being 
raised by the local authority. In the Punjab, a serious 
effort in the introduction of compulsory primary education 
is being made. Many of the conditions necessary for a 
forward movement already obtain. What is needed is 
firm and wise guidance on the part of the State so that 
assistance from public funds is only granted to supplement 
and not to replace local effort. 

The general aims of vernacular rural education have 
been throughly discussed. There is very general 
agreement that this should be confined to training the 
boys to think for themselves, to read for themselves and 
to act for themselves. As regards the curriculum of the 
village primary schools, the Director of Public Instruction 
in the United Provinces has recently summed up thia 
matter as follows : " One school of thought would 
utilize the village schoql for the dissemination of useful 
information on such subjects as agriculture, sanitation, 
malaria, plague, hydrophobia, snake-bite, rent and revenue 



THE HUMAN FACTOR 67 

law, co-operative banking, the silk industry and even the 
state of the yarn market. The other would confine 
instruction to the three R's, not even admitting drawing 
or clay modelling, observation lessons or geography." In 
the United Provinces, a middle course has been selected. 
This is designed to make a knowledge of the three R's the 
chief object of the primary school, at the same time aiming 
to develop the minds and to widen the interest of the 
children. Too much emphasis cannot be laid on the 
wise limitation of the curriculum of the primary school 
by insisting that the boys are taught to read, to write and 
to perform simple exercises in arithmetic before 
embarking on anything further. Any attempt to use the 
village schools for the teaching of agriculture or of 
industries would discredit them for all time in the eyes of 
the cultivator and of the village artisan. Teaching in 
these matters can be more effectively carried out by the 
parents themselves after the school-going age has been 
passed. There is nothing more tragic in India than the 
general failure of the agricultural school for young 
children and of the many attempts which have been made 
to begin vocational training at too early a period. 

The most important factor in the rural school of 
the future must always be the man or woman who has to 
do the work. The success of the movement will therefore 
depend on the wisdom and courage shown in the 
investment of money in suitable human material and in 
its training. As the influence of the teacher in the village 
will largely depend on his standing with the cultivators, it 
is essential that the future schoolmaster should be drawn 
from the village itself and that he should live, dress and 
speak like the people among whom he will pass his life. 
His pay must be adequate and his position in the 
community must be one of honour. The school 
buildings and the playground should stand out as a 
model of neatness and of order. In the selection of 
the man, in the status that should be his due and in the 
building in which he has to work, the controlling 
authority should from the very.beginning set its seal in 
no uncertain fashion on the importance it attaches to the 
education of the generations to come. 



68 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

Too much attention has been paid in recent years to 
the financial aspects of compulsory education. Calcu- 
lations have been based on the number of boys to be 
educated, on the 685,665 villages of India, on the 
number of teachers required and on the cost of the 
buildings. Such figures have no value for the reason 
that even if funds were voted to-morrow for compulsory 
village education in all the provinces in India, the only 
result would be the waste and misuse of money to an 
appalling extent. A well considered and critical survey 
of the whole problem must first be made. The general 
principles underlying future action must then be laid 
down in concrete form. Detailed schemes for each 
district must be drawn up in which all the factors 
bearing on rural development races, languages, religions, 
prevailing castes, communications, markets and so forth 
are considered. The selection and training of teachers is 
the next step, followed by the designing of suitable 
buildings and equipment and by the grouping of schools 
for supervision and inspection. All these essential 
matters must take time. Compulsory education is a 
comparatively new idea in India and will have to be 
applied gradually. A programme extending over some 
twenty years is tho first condition for future progress. 
This must then be backed up by a strong endowment 
fund from which local schemes can be assisted and 
developed. 

A great saving will be possible in establishing 
compulsory mass education in rural India if full use is 
made of American experience. In New England, it was 
formerly the custom to maintain in the country districts 
a large number of small, unsightly, dilapidated and ill- 
ventilated single-room schools in which a young, under- 
paid woman attempted to deal single-handed with an 
impossibly large number of classes. The attendance was 
Spasmodic; the interest of the pupils was poorly 
sustained; after a time many ceased to attend. The only 
possible results of such a system were waste and 
inefficiency. As nearly 12,000,000 boys and girls were 
involved and rural disintegration with a well marked 
exodus to the cities began to set in during the latter half 



THE HUMAN FACTOR 69 

of the nineteenth century, a remedy had to be found and 
an effort had to be made to provide the country child 
with an education comparable with that obtainable in the 
larger towns. In 1865, the State of Massachusetts passed 
a law authorizing the consolidation of country schools 
by which a number of small, ineffective institutions could 
be abolished and replaced by one central, well-equipped 
school. Four years later this was followed by a second 
law providing for the conveyance of the children to the 
central school at public expense, The first successful 
experiment in consolidation took place in the township 
of Concord. Twelve schools were united into one 
strong central school in the course of the yqara 
1870-1880. Since then, consolidation has become 
operative to a greater or less extent in thirty-two States 
of the Union. To this list we may add Hawaii, the five 
provinces of the Dominion of Canada under the 
Macdonald movement, and parts of the Australian 
Commonwealth. Consolidation is also spreading in the 
southern states of the Union in spite of the fact that in 
this region separate schools for the two races have to be 
maintained and the rural population is very scattered and 
generally impoverished. In practically all states, the 
children are transported from the outlying areas to the 
consolidated school in four-wheeled waggons provided 
With side ventilation and a roof. These waggons are 
supplied by the local authority and are operated by 
contract. The results have been very successful. In 
the consolidated schools it has been possible to provide 
suitable buildings and efficient equipment, to employ a 
number of teachers, to maintain classes of the proper 
size and to extend the curriculum. The great gap 
between urban and rural education has in this way been 
reduced. 

There is no reason why a policy of consolidation 
should not be followed in the rural areas of India. Two 
things are required (1) the design of four-wheeled 
waggons to suit rural conditions, each holding from 
twenty to thirty children, and (2} the provision of funds. 
The vsrrious districts should first be studied and then 
divided into suitable areas each with its future central 



70 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

school; the children from the outlying small villages 
could be transported to and fro every day in ox 
waggons which could be operated at contract rates. In 
this way a vast sum of money, otherwise devoted to the 
erection of a multitude of small schools, one in each 
village, could be saved and would be available for the 
purchase of waggons and for the payment of transport. 
In place of one poor little school in each of the 685,665 
villages of India, there would be from 100,000 to 
200,000 well-constructed central schools, each with 
suitable equipment, a number of well-trained teachers, 
and sufficient pupils to iill all the classes. Moreover, 
nnder such a system the cost of keeping the school 
buildings in repair, of supervision and of inspection 
would be considerably reduced. Great care will be 
needed in the selection of the sites of these central 
village schools. In determining this important matter 
the question of rural development as a whole will have to 
be considered and such factors as general rural transport, 
improved roads, better marketing facilities, more 
efficient medical assistance, must be taken into account. 
The consolidated school will do more in the future than 
teach the children. It will serve as the centre of progress 
of a group of villages. By its means such movements 
as Co-operative Credit, the Co-operative sale of produce, 
the establishment of better markets, the demonstration 
of simple improvements in agriculture, the distribution 
of improved seed, improved rural sanitation, better 
housing and better communications will be provided with 
a suitable meeting place. In consequence they should 
gain greatly in force and in impetus. The head teacher 
will eventually become an important personage in rural 
life. The people generally will come in contact with 
the Government in other ways than through the 
policeman and the tax gatherer. The villages selected 
for the central schools of the future would have to be 
prepared for their future responsibilities. A vigorous 
programme of Co-operative demonstration for the 
improvement of agriculture would be the first step. 
When this is followed by a widespread desire on the part 
of the people for the better education $f their children 



THE HUMAN FACTOR 71 

and when the locality is prepared to shoulder at least one 
third of the cost, the local authority should be ready to 
crown the movement by establishing a central school. In 
this way the people would feel that they had worked for 
this result and that it would never have arisen but for 
their efforts in the past. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Brayne, F. L. Village Uplift in India. Second 
edition. Oxford, 1929. 

Brayne, F. L. Socrates in an Indian Village. Oxford, 
im 

Calvert, H. -The Wealth and Welfare of the Punjab. 
Lahore, 1922. 

Census of India, Calcutta, 1, 1921, p. 236. 

Coventry, B. Education in its Relation to Agriculture, 
Agr. Jour, of India, XI, 1916, p. 1. 

Darling, M. L. The Punjab Peasant in Prosperity 
and Debt. Second edition. Oxford, 1928. 

Fleming, D. J. Schools with a Message in India. 
Oxford, 1921. 

Foght, H. W. The American Rural School, its 
Characteristics, its Future and its Problems. New York, 
1918. 

Mayhew, A. The Education of India, a Study of 
British Educational Policy in India, 1835-1920, and of Its 
Bearing on National Life and Problems in India To-day. 
London, 1926. 

Olcott, M. Village Schools in India ; an Investigation 
with Suggestions. Calcutta, 1926. 

Progress of Education in India, 1917-22, Stationery 
Office. 

Report of the Committee on Co-operation in India. 
Simla, 1915. 

Report on the Progress of Education in the Punjab, 
1925-26. Lahore, 1927. 

Review of Agricultural Operations in India, 1926-27. 
Calcutta, 1928. 

Robertson Scott, J. W. Ttte Foundations of Japan. 
London, 1922. f 



72 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

Statements showing the Progress of the Co-operative 
Movement in India during the Year 1926-27. Calcutta, 
1928. 

The General Education Board : An Account of its 
Activities, 1902-14. New York, 1916. 

Village Education in India : The Report of a 
Commission of Enquiry. Oxford, 1922. 



CHAPTER VI 

SOME COMMUNITY PROBLEMS 



The general introduction of a system of mass 
education will enable a number of communal problems 
to be considered. Up to the present, the work of rural 
development has been largely confined to what can be 
done for the individual villager, his oxen and his fields. 
The cultivator, however, does not stand alone. He is a 
member of a community with problems of its own. It is 
true the villagers are being assembled into groups by the 
Co-operative movement primarily with a view to freeing 
them from debt. This, however, is only the first step 
in integration so that the larger problems of the 
country-side can bo attacked. Some of these community 
questions, such as the re-alignment and fixing of the 
holding ; the installation of a general system of surface 
drainage ; the development of intensive agriculture ; the 
co-operative management and sale of irrigation water ; 
the establishment and maintenance of definite grades of 
produce for the locality ; the provision of better roads 
and their maintenance, must now be considered. 

The Consolidation and Fixing of the Holding. In 
many parts of India, notably in the eastern Punjab and 
the Bombay Deccan, the improvement of the holding is 
rendered impossible by the fact that it is not a permanent 
unit. This state of affairs is due to fragmentation 
following the operation of the law of succession by which 
every male child inherits an equal share of every 
description of land. In the course of time, the fields of 
each owner become scattered all over the village area; 
the plots get smaller and smaller and in some cases 
become so narrow that cross-ploughing is impossible. 
In the Punjab, it is common ib find a man with his land 
in twenty or thirty places. In one instance, Calvert 



74 DEVELOPMENT OP INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

discovered a cultivator with his holding broken up into 
more than two hundred fragments. The evil results 
of this system are many and obvious. The greatest 
disadvantage is that the holding is not permanent. The 
incentive to progress and development, which is conferred 
by the possession of a fixed and definite area of land, 
does not % therefore operate. There are minor drawbacks 
in addition. The irrigation of small isolated plots is 
almost impossible. Much time and energy are wasted 
on a scattered holding in getting to and fro; the possibility 
of friction with neighbours is increased, while the 
watching of the crops presents great difficulties. In the 
Deccan, Keatinge sums up the present position in the 
following words : " The majority of the farms are of the 
wrong size and the wrong shape, they are not permanent 
units and are not susceptible of orderly and adequate 
improvement. The majority of the farmers are deficient 
in skill and balance a low standard of endeavour by a 
low standard of living." The system combines all the 
disadvantages of the small holding with those of extensive 
agriculture. The individual fields are too small for the 
adoption of labour-saving devices ; their scattered 
character and their want of permanence put out of court 
the introduction of intensive methods. As a bar to all 
progress, it would be difficult to discover a more perfect 
instrument. The division of the holding however cannot 
always be prevented. In the rain-inundated areas of the 
United Provinces, Bihar, Bengal and Madras, where two 
classes of cultivation occur side by side rice on the low- 
lying areas and ordinary mixed cultivation on the higher 
lands on which the villages stand it is not possible to 
consolidate the holding to the same extent as in the 
Punjab and the Deccan. Each cultivator in the rice 
areas needs two very different classes of land. In such 
tracts, all that can be done is to reduce the evil of 
fragmentation. It can never be abolished altogether. 

Whatever the method adopted to deal with 
fragmentation, it is obvious that the first condition is the 
consent of the great majority of the cultivators. The 
question, therefore, arises: * Is it possible with an illiterate 
peasantry to obtain general agreement on such a matter ? 



SOME COMMUNITY PROBLEMS 75 

Twenty years ago the answer would have been: Most 
emphatically no. To-day the position is much more 
hopeful. In the eastern Punjab, Gal vert has recently suc- 
ceeded in forming Co-operative Consolidation of Holdings 
Societies which have met with a considerable measure of 
success. In 1923, work had been carried through in 126 
villages. Over 20,000 acres, divided into 35,000 scattered 
parcels of land, were consolidated into about 4,500 fields. 
In a recent paper, Strickland records still further progress. 
The benefits conferred by the re-arrangement are clearly 
recognized by the owners and cultivators. Improvements 
which were once impossible are now in progress. The 
great value to India of this Punjab experiment does not 
however concern the material but the psychological domain. 
If it is possible, under efficient leadership, to produce 
these results among uneducated peasants in a locality 
which has enjoyed less than a hundred years of settled 
government, how much more may be confidently expected 
when to these advantages are added the benefits of 
education ? The significance of Calvert's experiment lies 
in this. It holds out hope for the future and supplies the 
answer to those who say that results which depend on 
community effort in India must always be impossible. 

Soil Erosion; Surface Drainage; Nitrogen. Once the 
holding of the cultivator has been fixed and ho has been 
provided with a secure tenure, the inevitable results of 
ownership will begin to appear. Possession, in the words 
of Arthur Young, will always transform a desert into a 
garden. What are the natural stages in this process in 
India ? The first is to put the monsoon in harness and to 
place the cultivator in command. It is of course not 
possible to arrange what the rainfall is to be but a great deal 
can be done to regulate it for the benefit of agriculture 
after it reaches the ground. The first step is to provide 
each locality with a suitable system of surface drainage so 
that there is no loss of fine soil by erosion, no water-logging 
by the run-off and no waste of water. The soil must be 
retained. The rainfall must be given time to percolate 
into the soil. The surplus must be conducted either to 
the rivers and drainage line's, to the rice areas or to 
reservoirs \^ere it can be stored. At present there is 



76 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

practically no drainage system in rural India and almost 
nothing is done to control the run-off. Such an installation 
is impossible for each separate holding. It is a matter for 
the community and will often require the services of the 
engineer. Up to the present the civil engineer has been 
utilized in Indian agriculture mainly for the construction 
and working of canals, by which the waters of the great 
rivers are led to the fields. The reverse process, namely, the 
scientific removal and disposal of the surplus rainfall, has 
often been left out of account. Drainage problems offer 
opportunities for the engineer at least equal to those 
presented by irrigation. Vast areas of the peninsula 
require a scientific scheme of surface drainage just as 
urgently as the deserts of the Punjab and Bajputana need 
irrigation water. 

The benefits of the scientific control of the rainfall 
will only begin with the prevention of erosion and the 
better utilization of the rainfall. Surface drainage is the 
foundation of the solution of the nitrogen problem. Every 
year an enormous quantity of combined nitrogen is 
destroyed by the water-logging of the pore- spaces of the 
soil during the rains. This cuts off the air-supply, and 
establishes an anaerobic soil flora which must obtain its 
oxygen partly from the nitrates in the soil. The process 
is known as de-nitrification and results in the annual loss 
of produce worth crores of rupees. Another consequence 
of this water-logging is the destruction of the soil texture 
which in turn interferes with rapid and adequate root- 
development. It is little use attempting to remedy this 
State of affairs by adding more manure. Such a proceeding 
may increase the losses. Until a suitable system of surface 
drainage is in working order there can be no real and 
lasting solution of the nitrogen question in India. 

Drainage is therefore the first step in increasing 
crop-production. From the nature of things it is a 
community enterprise in which the lands of the village 
must be looked at as a whole. Drainage maps for each 
locality must be prepared so that the surface drains, 
embankments, reservoirs, roads and railways can all be 
considered together and lafcl out to the best advantage. 
Once this is done much more will be got out of the 



SOME COMMUNITY PROBLEMS 



77 



monsoon, the cultivator will be placed in command, 
the present natural fertility of the soil will be fully 
utilized and the door will be opened for the next step in 
advance the general introduction of intensive cultivation. 
The Introduction of Intensive Agriculture. The most 
Suitable areas in which the present extensive methods 
can be converted into an intensive system appear to be 
the canal irrigated tracts where the water-supply is fully 
secured. At the moment, a canal is regarded either as 
a means of protecting the area commanded from 
calamities such as scarcity or famine or as an outlet for 
the surplus population of congested districts. It is rare 
to find the provision of water by the State looked upon 
as one of the essentials for the introduction of intensive 
agriculture. With an assured water supply, such as is 
now provided by the canals of the Punjab and the United 
Provinces, the people are content with the meagre results 
of extensive farming. Every year crores of rupees worth 
of potential crop-production in these two provinces are 
literally thrown away. The only other things besides 
water required for the introduction of an intensive 
system are varieties which respond successfully to better 
soil conditions and a supply of organic matter. The 
increase in production brought about by this means is 
extraordinary. The average yield of Pusa 12, gram and 
sugar-cane obtained under intensive cultivation at 
Shahjahanpur for the seven year period 1915-22 are 
given in maunds per acre in the next table: 

AVERAGE YIELDS AT SHAHJAHANPUR UNDER 
INTENSIVE CULTIVATION 



Crop 


Shahjahanpur 


Average yield obtained 
by cultivators 


Wheat 


30-3 


15-2 


Gram 


24-1 


11-6 


Sugar-cane 


841-0 


345-4 



78 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

These yields were obtained by the addition of organic 
manure, containing approximately 100 Ib. of nitrogen per 
acre, to the sugar-cane crop once in the four-year rotation. 
The figures show that crop-production under canal 
irrigation in the plains can be placed on a higher plane. 
Similar results are also possible on the rain- fed areas of 
the peninsula. 

The Co-operative Distribution and Sale of Water. 
Although a supply of soil moisture for the crop is 
the most important factor of all in increasing production, 
nevertheless the methods of distribution and sale of water 
in India are exceedingly unscientific. In the canal- 
irrigated areas, the distribution of water requires the 
services of an army of minor officials, whose main duty is 
to assess the water-rate according to the area irrigated. 
The cost of this system is borne by the cultivator and in 
the aggregate must run to many lakhs of rupees a year in 
a province like the Punjab. This is not the only 
disadvantage. Assessment according to the area watered 
leads to over-irrigation and to the gradual destruction of 
the natural fertility of the land. The ideal system 
an alluvial soils is to use as little water as possible and 
periodically to rest the land from surface-flooding. To 
achieve this the sale of water by volume or, in the first 
instance, according to the number of waterings, is 
obviously the method to adopt. In this way the cultivator 
would soon begin to save water and so reduce this item of 
his expenditure. If, therefore, canal water could be sold 
in bulk to the village, great economies would follow. 
An army of superfluous officials could be disbanded, the 
village community would be provided with an opportunity 
to practise the art of local self-government and the 
present supplies of canal water could be made to 
command a larger area and produce an increased revenue. 
A similar communal system of distribution could be 
adopted in the case of strainer-tube wells, operated by 
cheap electric current, when the time comes to instal such 
devices in the eastern districts of the Punjab where the 
irrigation water is now lifted by cattle from a multitude 
of small wells. * 

The Grading and Marketing of Prodvce. In the 



SOME COMMUNITY PROBLEMS 79 

introduction of the seed of improved varieties of crops 
what may be described as the seed-depot stage has been 
reached in the more advanced provinces. In the United 
Provinces, for example, a network of carefully designed 
and well-built seed-stores is being provided as fast 
as funds permit, the aim of this important movement 
being to establish one of these depots in every tahsil 
of the province. The seed is kept in these stores between 
crops and sold at sowing time to the cultivators. In 
this way a number of fixed stations have been provided 
for the staff of the Agricultural Department. These 
depots are proving of great value in the work of replacing 
the mixture of inferior types now grown by a pure 
variety of higher yielding power. It will be obvious that 
this excellent system can only yield optimum results 
provided it is not abused. If to save the trouble of 
storage, the same growers, year after year, draw their seed 
from these stores the rate of replacement of the country 
crop by the new kind will be far slower than if the depot 
is used only at the beginning and if afterwards the 
cultivators store their own seed. As far as possible, the 
depot ought to supply a fresh set of customers every year. 
The storage of seed in suitable metal containers by 
the people themselves should form a part of all schemes 
of seed-distribution. If a supply of cheap galvanised seed 
bins with air-tight, dished-in lids could be supplied with 
the seed, a further step in seed-distribution could at 
once be reached. 

Seed distribution schemes affect the community 
as well as the individual. The grower of a few maunds 
of a new variety of wheat cannot obtain the real price for 
his produce unless his small parcel of seed is placed 
in touch with the markets of the world. To bring 
this about several conditions must simultaneously be 
fulfilled. The seed must be available in quantity, 
the supply must be regular and reliable from year 
to year and there must be buyers. To make this possible 
the village and then the locality must produce one 
variety. Buyers will then be attracted: competition for 
the produce will follow. The tyrice will rise. All this can 
be achieved % only by community effort on the part 



80 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

of an enterprising population sufficiently educated to 
think and to act for itself. In this way definite grades of 
produce can be established in India and some of the more 
favoured localities will then establish a reputation for 
quality above the average. That efforts of this kind are 
worth while is well known. The establishment and 
maintenance of grades of wheat in Canada, of raw tobacco 
in the United States and of butter in Denmark have 
brought large sums of money to the farmers of these 
countries. 

When the village community grows a single 
improved variety and when the individual growers all 
store their own seed, the time will have come for laying 
the coping stone on the co-operative movement. 
Co-operative marketing on a large scale will then be 
possible. The small grower must always be at a 
disadvantage in disposing of his produce. When, 
however, the village and the locality adopt co-operative 
sale the position will be reversed. When the volume 
of produce of the new types is considerable, 
merchants will always be found to compete for a 
large consignment. It will also be possible to ensure that 
the produce is properly weighed and that an account 
sales in writing is drawn up. Such methods are for the 
future but the time is rapidly coming when bulk 
transactions of this kind will be the rule in India. A few 
very promising experiments in the direction indicated 
have already been made by the Co-operative and 
Agricultural Departments for the sale of cotton. In 
Guntur in Madras, the co-operative sale of cured tobacco 
by the cultivators themselves is beginning. 

Communications. Although a great deal of attention 
is being paid to railway development in India, the 
country in recent years has gone backwards as regards 
roads and their maintenance. A very noticeable falling 
off in this most important matter has taken place on 
account of the period of financial stringency through 
which India has just passed. Now that this phase 
has come to an end it is hoped that funds will be devoted 
to bring the main roads of the country into their former 
condition and also to provide the rural areas with 



SOME COMMUNITY PROBLEMS 81 

Something better than the existing cart tracks. If designed 
with care so that new areas are opened up, it is 
extraordinary how a new road produces traffic and 
how the neighbouring markets benefit. A metalled road 
saves an enormous amount of cattle power and enables the 
cultivators to make much more use of their transport. 
Steps are being taken to improve the main roads of the 
country. On 3rd November 1927, the Government of India 
appointed a Committee of both Chambers of the Indian 
Legislature to consider (1) the development of the road 
systems of India and (2) the formation of a Central Road 
Board, This Committee has already dealt with a large 
volume of evidence. The final report was published 
in November 1928. 

A good deal can be done to reduce the cost of 
maintenance of the road systems of India. Much 
unnecessary damage is now being done by the narrow 
wheels usually fitted to the bullock cart. If these could 
be replaced by stronger wheels with broad iron tyres, the 
roads would last longer and break-downs would be far 
fewer than is now the rule. The time is rapidly coming 
for the mass-production and sale of improved cart wheels 
in India. In this connection it would be interesting 
if accurate records could be made of the loss of man and 
cattle power, due to the collapse of cart wheels on 
the main roads which serve large cotton markets like 
Cawnpore or Indore. It must run into thousands of 
rupees annually. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Burt, B. C. The Fragmentation of Holdings as it 
affects the Introduction of Agricultural Improvements, 
Agr. Jour, of India, XIV, 1919, p. 536. 

Calvert, H. Co-operative Consolidation of Holdings 
in the Punjab, Agr. Jour, of India, XVII, 1922, p. 7. 

Hailey, H. R. C. Agricultural Holdings in the 
United Provinces, Agr. Jour, of India, XIV, 1919, 
p. 526. 

Howard, A. Crop-Production in India. Oxford, 
1924. 

G 



82 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

Keatinge, G. F. Economic Factors of Agricultural 
Progress, Agr. Jour, of India, XIV, 1919, p. 373. 

Mann, H. H. The Economics of a Deccan Village, 
Agr. Jour, of India, XII, 1917, p. 446. 

Proceedings of the Board of Agriculture in India. 
Calcutta, 1916. 

Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture in 
India. Calcutta, 1925. 

Report of the Indian Road Development Committee, 
1927-23. Calcutta, 1928. 

Strickland, C. F. Co-operative Consolidation of 
Holdings in the Punjab, Agr. Jour, of India, XXII, 1927, 
p. 82. . 

Trevaskis, H. K. Some Aspects of Agricultural 
Marketing as illustrated by the Lyallpur Co-operative 
Commission-sale Shops, Agr. Jour, of India, XVIII, 
1923, p. 115. 

Young, Arthur. Travels in France. Everyman's 
Library, London. 



CHAPTER VII 

A DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF RURAL 
RE-CONSTRUCTION 

In the preceding chapters, frequent references have 
been made to the future development of rural India. 
It now remains to summarize the chief conclusions 
reached. One main idea has been steadily kept in view 
the supreme importance of dealing with the Indian 
village and its fields as a single subject. During the last 
twenty years we have been passing through a period of 
experiment, in which rural problems have been 
approached independently from many points of view. 
Some of these undertakings have yielded valuable 
results; others have not been so successful. All have 
one characteristic in common. They have dealt with 
gome particular aspect only of a much larger question. 
Further, there has been little or no co-ordination 
between the various agencies at work. The subject of 
rural re-construction is entering on a new phase. 
A re-grouping of the means is necessary for dealing with 
the new conditions. The present fragmentation of 
effort will no longer meet the case. 

The work of the experiment stations during the 
last twenty years has established the fact that 
agricultural India is a vast undeveloped estate. By the 
adoption of simple improvements, which arc well within 
the means of the average cultivator, crop-production can 
at least be doubled. Progress is also possible in animal 
husbandry provided the fodder supply can be increased. 

As regards the best agency for devising 
improvements nothing has been discovered which can 
supplant the modern experiment station (provided with 
suitable laboratories), in which t the investigator takes up 
a piece of land, copies the methods of the cultivator first 
of all and then with the aid of science devises 



84 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTUEE 

improvements in agriculture and evolves improved 
varieties of crops. In this work the attack must not be 
made on too narrow a front. As many sciences as 
possible must be combined and the larger problems must 
be approached simultaneously from several aspects. 
The importance of research work of this kind cannot be 
over-emphasized. It is the basis of the whole 
super-structure. If research is starved, the How of 
improvements and of fertile ideas will cease. The 
country will then be left with expensive organizations 
doing nothing in particular. 

The results obtained at the experiment stations are 
brought to the notice of the cultivators by an agency 
working in the Districts. The response of the cultivator 
to these efforts has not been so promising as the results 
yielded by the soil. The human factor is the one which 
stands in the way of progress. For rural development to 
proceed much further, it will be necessary to educate 
both the adult and the child. In both these matters, 
American experience seems to hold out the greatest hopo 
of success. If India is to follow the lead of the southern 
states, a much greater concentration of effort will be 
needed and a number of independent movements the 
extension work of the Agricultural and Veterinary 
Departments, the Co-operative Credit Movement and 
that portion of the work of the Educational Department 
which deals with primary rural schools must at once be 
combined into a single agency. This might be 
designated the Development Board of Rural Re- 
construction. At first the new body would establish 
the closest possible liaison with all the other organizations 
which deal with the country-side, namely, those 
concerned with the distribution of irrigation water and 
with roads, markets and rural sanitation. How rapidly 
these agencies will have to be absorbed is a matter for 
the future. 

After a suitable organization for dealing with rural 
development as a whole has been established, the character 
of its personnel is of supreme importance. If the cultivator 
is to be made a willing partner in the new scheme he 
will have to be handled from the outset by men who are 



DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF RURAL RE-CONSTRUCTION 85 

in sympathy with him, who understand his point of 
view, who speak his language, wear his dress, and who 
can live in his village. One of the greatest difficulties 
will be to find and train an adequate supply of raw 
material for dealing with the people. The average town 
dweller, although possessing the education and 
knowledge necessary, is regarded almost as a stranger by 
the average cultivator. The intelligent village boy is 
often illiterate. The ideal agents for future work in the 
country-side will have to be trained. 

After the nature of the agency has been settled and 
the personnel has been prepared careful working plans will 
have to be devised. For this purpose a survey of each 
province will have to be made, district by district. 
These will have to be discussed and definite projects 
adopted. These working plans will have to deal not only 
with what is possible now but also with what can be 
accomplished in the future. 

Questions of finance and control remain. It is usual 
in official matters to finance everything by means of an 
annual budget largely for the reason that the income of 
the State is collected and recorded every year. When 
there is an annual surplus it is devoted either to the 
remission of taxation or to some matter of topical interest. 
The weaknesses of this system for dealing with problems 
like rural uplift are many and obvious. There is no 
reserve fund for lean years as is invariably the rule in all 
substantial business enterprises. Under the present 
system, a well considered programme, extending over, say, 
twenty years, which provides automatically for steady 
growth and for unforeseen developments, is impossible. 
Even the surpluses which occasionally occur are not 
always devoted to the same object. What is required is a 
special Fund for Rural Re-construction into which both 
annual contributions and surpluses can be paid. 
Such a measure would ensure continuity of effort, would 
establish confidence and would do much to attract and 
retain the necessary ability for dealing with the 
development of the country-side. 

The various agencies which deal with rural India are 
at present controlled by the State and their activities form 



86 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

a part of an official programme. They are therefore very 
prone to become involved in party politics, a region to 
which they do not properly belong. The development of 
rural India is not the sole concern of the Executive, of the 
Legislature, of any party or of any interest. It is a 
national matter and one in which the active co-operation 
of all well- wishers of India can be secured. It would be 
a great advantage therefore to remove this matter from 
official to un-official control. In each province, a 
Development Board should be created on which the 
Legislature, the Executive, the local notables and the most 
able of the workers could be represented. This board 
would in some respects resemble the present Indian 
Central Cotton Committee, a body which meets twice a 
year for dealing with all questions relating to the 
production, trade and utilization of cotton. If judiciously 
selected in the first instance and if care is taken to renew 
its youth in the future by the inclusion of the best men 
in the public life of the province, such a body would not 
only maintain direction but would also provide that 
driving power which is essential for real and steady 
progress. The most capable of the children of the soil 
would by this means be provided with opportunities for 
real constructive work. Simultaneously, with the spread of 
education, an electorate for the rural areas will be created. 



APPENDIX 

A SHORT DIRECTORY OF THE OFFICIAL 

AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENTS OF 

BRITISH INDIA 

I. IMPERIAL DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 

Agricultural Adviser to the Government of India 
and Director of the Agricultural Research Institute, 
Pusa Head-quarters at Pusa, Bihar. 

Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa The follow- 
ing research officers are attached to the Institute: the 
Imperial Agricultural Chemist, the Plant Biological 
Chemist, the Physical Chemist, the Imperial Economic 
Botanist, the Imperial Mycologist, the Imperial Entomolo- 
gist, the Second Entomologist (Dipterist), the Imperial 
Agriculturist, the Imperial Agricultural Bacteriologist, 
and the Secretary, Sugar Bureau. There is a farm of 830 
acres attached to the Institute which trains post-graduate 
Students in methods of research in various sciences allied 
to agriculture. The results of research work are published 
in the form of scientific memoirs and bulletins. The 
Institute also publishes The Agricultural Journal of 
India and The Journal of the Central Bureau for 
Animal Husbandry and Dairying in India. 

Imperial Institute of Veterinary Research Head- 
quarters at Muktesar with a sub-station at Izatnagar 
(Bareilly). The following officers are attached to the 
Institute : the Director, the Pathologist and three Veterinary 
Research Officers. 

Imperial Institute of Animal Husbandry and Dairy- 
ing, Bangalore The following officers are attached to 
the Institute: the Imperial Dairy Expert, the Assistant 
Imperial Dairy Expert and the Physiological Chemist. 
The Institute Jias a farm of 250 acres with a sub-station at 



88 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

Wellington ( 69 acres ), a cattle-breeding farm at Karnal 
( 2,154 acres ) and a creamery at Anand. Advanced 
instruction is provided in animal nutrition, animal 
husbandry and dairying and pupils are trained for the 
Indian Dairy Diploma. 

Imperial Sugar- cane Breeding Station, Coinibatore 
The Government Sugar-cane Expert and the Second Cane- 
breeding Officer are attached to this station which is 
provided with a farm of 90 acres. 

II. PROVINCIAL DEPARTMENTS OF AGRICULTURE 

ASSAM 

Director of Agriculture Head-quarters at Shillong. 

Economic Botanist Head-quarters at Jorhat. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture Head-quarters at 
Jorhat (sugar-cane), 59 acres with the sub-stations of 
Upper Shillong (potatoes), 367 acres; Titabor (rice), 120 
acres; Karimganj (rice), 80 acres; Khanapara, Gauhati 
(cattle), 200 acres. 

Live Stock Expert Head-quarters at Upper Shillong. 

BENGAL 

Director of Agriculture Head- quarters at Dacca 
(P. 0. Tejgaon). The following research officers have 
their head- quarters at Dacca: the Agricultural Chemist 
( in charge of the Rangpur tobacco farm, 52 acres), the 
First Economic Botanist, the Second Economic Botanist, 
the Fibre Expert ( in charge of the Rangamati farm, 17 
acres), the Live Stock Expert (in charge of the Rangpur 
cattle farm, 333 acres) and the Agricultural Engineer. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Eastern Circle 
Head- quarters at Dacca, 657 acres with the following sub- 
stations: Kishoregunj (Mymensingh), 83 acres; My- 
mensingh, 20 acres; Faridpur, 20 acres; Comilla, 20 acres; 
Jamalpur (Mymensingh), 27 acres; Dhanbari (My- 
mensingh), 7 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Northern Circle 
Alamnagar P. 0., Rangpu in charge of the stations of 
Rajshahi, 63 acres; Rangpur (demonstration), 19 acres; 



APPENDIX 89 

Bogra, 29 acres; Pabna, 19 acres; Dinajpur, 24 acres; 
Mainaguri, 25 acres; Malda, 1C acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Western Circle 
Head-quarters at Writers' Buildings, Calcutta, in charge of 
the stations of Chinsura, 210 acres; Burdwan, 33 acres; 
Jessore, 5 acres; Gosaba, 8 acres; Berhampur, 44 acres; 
Bankura, 29 acres; Suri, 33 acres; Krishnagar, 35 acres. 

Superintendent of Agriculture, Darjeeling District 
Head-quarters at Kalimpong, 26 acres. 

Deputy Director of Sericulture In charge of the 
sericultural nurseries at Kalimpong, Kurseong, 
Berhampore, Tollygunge ( Calcutta), Piasbari ( Malda ), 
Amriti (Malda), Kalitha (Birbhum), Mirganj (Rajshahi), 
Kumarpur ( Murshidabad ), Bogra, Bolpur ( Birbhum ), 
Dacca, Dhanbari and Vishnupur. 

BIHAR AND ORISSA 

Director of Agriculture Head-quarters at Sabour. 
The following research officers have their head -quarters 
at Sabour The Agricultural Chemist, the Economic 
Botanist and the Agricultural Engineer. An Assistant 
Director of Agriculture is in charge of the Sabour farm, 
190 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, North Bihar 
Range Head-quarters at Sepaya ( cattle breeding and 
sugar-cane), 379 acres with the following sub- stations 
Si wan, 20 acres ; Darbhanga, 26 acres ; Purnea, 
60 acres. Purnea is the head-quarters of the Assistant 
Director of Agriculture. The farm is the property of the 
Purnea Tournament Trust Fund, 

Assistant Director of Agriculture, South-East 
Bihar Range Head-quarters at Monghyr (dairy), 200 
acres with the following sub-stations: Jamui, 38 acres; 
Banka, 26 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, South Bihar 
Range Head-quarters at Gaya, 193 acres with the 
following sub-stations: Nawada, 83 acres; Siris, 35 acres ; 
Bikramganj, 24 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Chota Nagpur 
Range Head-quarters at Kanke (Ranch!) , 340 acres (in- 



90 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

eluding dairy farm) with the following sub-stations: 
Netarhat (potatoes), 193 acres; Purulia, 52 acres; Ramgarh, 
43 acres; Chianki, 32 acres; Sambalpur, 32 acres; 
Chaibassa, 38 acres. 

Assistant Director of Agriculture, Orissa Range 
Head-quarters at Cuttack, 150 acres with the following 
sub-stations: Khurda, 31 acres; Balasore, 75 acres; Angul, 

47 acres; Puri (coconut), 42 acres; Anantapur, 30 acres 
(of which 26 2 acres were presented by the Hon'ble the 
Maharaja of Burdwan). 

BOMBAY 

Director of Agriculture Head- quarters at Poona. 

Agricultural College and Research Staff, Poona 
In addition to the teaching staff and the Inspector in 
charge of Agricultural Schools, the following research 
officers have their head- quarters at Poona: the Agricultural 
Chemist, the Economic Botanist, the Crop Botanist (also 
in charge of the rice station at Karjat, 7 acres), the Plant 
Pathologist, the Horticulturist (also in charge of Ganesh- 
kind, 80 acres; Modi Bag, 11 acres), the Agricultural 
Engineer, the Live Stock Expert (also in charge of two out- 
stations : Charodi, 2,251 acres and Bankapur, 285 acres). 
There are about 200 students in residence at the Agri- 
cultural College which teaches up to the B. Ag. degree 
of the Bombay University. Two farms are attached to the 
College: Poona, 289 acres; Kirkee (dairy), 362 acres. 
The Soil Physicist has his head-quarters at Manjri farm 
near Poona. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Gujerat Head- 
quarters at Surat, 292 acres with following sub- stations: 
Amalsad, 19 acres; Nadiad (tobacco), 44 acres; Broach, 6 
acres; Dohad, 68 acres; Viramgam, 6 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, North-Central 
Division Head-quarters at Nasik with the following 
Stations: Jalgaon, 204 acres; Dhulia, 28 acres; Sangvi, 

48 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture^ South-Central 
Division Head-quarters at Poona with the following 
stations: Kopargaon, 110 acres; Mohol, 55 acres; Manjri 



APPENDIX 91 

(sugar-cane), 62 acres; Baramati (sugar-cane), 21 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Southern Division 
Head-quarters at Dharwar, 134 acres; with the following 
sub-stations: Tegur, 370 acres; Gokak Canal, 62 acres; 
Mugad, 9 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Korikan Head- 
quarters at Ratnagiri, 93 acres, with the following sub- 
stations: Kumta, 22 acres; Karjat (rice), 9 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Sind Head-quarters 
at Karachi with the following stations: Mirpurkhas, 270 
acres; Jacobabad, 300 acres; Larkhana, 65 acres; Sukkur, 
30 acres; Willingdon cattle-breeding farm, Karachi, 851 
acres. 

BURMA 

Director of Agriculture Head-quarters at Rangoon. 

Agricultural College and Research Institute, 
Mandalay In addition to the teaching staff, the following 
research-officers have their head-quarters at Mandalay: 
the Agricultural Chemist, the Economic Botanist, the 
Entomologist, the Mycologist and the Agricultural 
Engineer. There are about 40 students in residence at 
the College which grants its own diploma. A farm of 630 
acres is attached to the College. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture^ Northern Circle 
Head-quarters at Mandalay with stations at Kanbalu, 534 
acres ; Padu, 105 acres ; Chiba, 84 acres ; Singaing, 
102 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Myingyan Circle. 
Head-quarters at Meiktila with the stations at Mahlaing, 
254 acres ; Kyehmon, 305 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, West-Central 
Circle Head-quarters at Thayetmyo with stations at 
Allanmyo, 144 acres ; Pwinbyu, 22 acres ; Sagaing, 11 
acres ; Magwe, 205 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, East-Central 
Circle Head-quarters at Pyinmana, 55 acres, with sub- 
stations at Tatkon, 106 acres ; Yawnghwe, 37 acres ; 
Pyu, 146 aeries. 



92 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Southern Circle 
Head-quarters at Rangoon with stations at Hmawbi, 456 
acres; Nyaunglebin, 15 acres ; Pegu, 146 acres ; Paungde, 
126 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Arakan Circle 
Head-quarters at Akyab, 138 acres with the sub-station of 
Kyaukpyu, 23 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Irrawaddy Circle 
Head-quarters at Myaungrnya, 92 acres with stations at 
Maubin, 155 acres ; Henzada, 184 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Tenasserim Circle 
Head-quarters at Mouhnein with stations at Mudon, 88 
acres ; Thaton, 151 acres. 



CENTRAL PROVINCES 

Director of Agriculture Head-quarters at Nagpur. 

Agricultural College and Research Institute, 
Nagpur In addition to the teaching staff, the following 
research officers have their head-quarters at Nagpur : the 
Agricultural Chemist, the Economic Botanist (also in 
charge of the Cotton research farm at Akola, 271 acres ), 
the Second Economic Botanist, the Mycologist and the 
Agricultural Engineer. There are about 110 students in 
residence at the college which teaches up to the standard 
of the B. Ag. of Nagpur University. There is a farm of 
268 acres attached to the College. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Western Circle 
Head-quarters at Amraoti with the following stations: 
Borgaon, 368 acres; Yeotmal, 106 acres; Khandwa, 177 
acres; Basim, 110 acres; Buldana, 142 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Southern Circle 
Head-quarters at Nagpur with the stations of Sindewahi, 
197 acres; Tharsa, 116 acres; Wara-Seoni, 63 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Eastern Circle* 
Head-quarters at Raipur, 229 acres, with sub-stations at 
Chandkuri, 333 acres; Bilaspur, 253 acres; Drug, 281 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Northern Circle 
Head-quarters at Jubbulpore* with the following stations: 
Adhartal (Jubbulpore), 637 acres; Saugor, 161 acres; 



APPENDIX 93 

Damoh, 152 acres; Powarkhera (Hoshangabad), 528 acres; 
Narsinghpur, 130 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture in charge of Animal 
Husbandry Head-quarters at Nagpur with the stations 
of Telinkheri (dairy), 1000 acres; Raigarh (cattle breeding), 
1200 acres; Ellichpur, 268 acres ; Bod, 160 acres ; Pendra, 
2000 acres. 

Assistant Director of Agriculture, Plateau Sub- 
Circle Head-quarters at Chhindwara, 69 acres with 
sub-stations at Seoni, 164 acres ; Betul, 161 acres. 



MADRAS 

Director of Agriculture Head-quarters at Madras. 

Agricultural College and Research Institute, Coim- 
latore The following officers engaged in research have 
their head-quarters at Coimbatore ; the Agricultural 
Chemist, the Systematic Botanist, the Mycologist, the 
Entomologist, the Cotton Specialist, the Paddy Specialist, 
the Millets Specialist and the Research Engineer. 
There are from 100 to 120 students in residence at the 
Agricultural College which teaches up to the B. Sc. degree 
of Madras University. A farm of 478 acres is attached to 
the College. 

Deputy Dirfctor of Agriculture, I Circle Head- 
quarters at Vizagapatam with the following stations: 
Samalkota, 57 acres ; Anakapalle, 36 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, II Circle Head- 
quarters at Guntur, 150 acres with a station at Marutur 
(paddy breeding), 50 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, III Circle Head- 
quarters at Bellary with the following stations: Hagari, 
225 acres ; Nandyal, 88 acres, 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, IV Circle Head- 
quarters at St. Thomas' Mount with the stations of 
Palur, 53 acres ; Palakuppam (ground-nuts), 16 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, V Circle Head- 
quarters at Trichinopoly with a paddy breeding station 
at Aduturai, 53 acres. 

Deputy JDirector of Agriculture, VI Circle Head- 



94 DEVELOPMENT OP INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

quarters at Madura with a cotton-breeding station at 
Koilpatti, 82 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, VII Circle Head- 
quarters at Tellicherry with stations at Kasaragod 
(coconuts), 126 acres; Taliparamba, 86 acres; Pattambi 
(paddy breeding), 82 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, VIII Circle Head- 
quarters at Coimbatore with a betel vine station at 
Vellalur, 2 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Live Stock Head- 
quarters at Hosur, 1,635 acres with sub-stations at 
Chintaladevi, 767 acres; Guntur (buffaloes), 150 acres, 

Curator with head-quarters at Ootacamund with a 
sub-station at Nanganad (potatoes), 36 acres. There is also 
a pomological station at Coonoor, 12 acres. 

NORTH-WEST FRONTIER PROVINCE 

Agricultural Officer Head-quarters at Tarnab 
(Peshawar), 200 acres with a sub-station at Haripur, 
20 acres. 

PUNJAB 

Director of Agriculture Head-quarters at Lahore. 

Agricultural College, Lyallpur In addition to the 
teaching staff the following research officers have their 
head- quarters at Lyallpur: the Agricultural Chemist, the 
Second Agricultural Chemist, the Bacteriologist, the 
Associate Professor of Botany, the Fruit Specialist, the 
Second Fruit Specialist, the Millet Botanist, the Cerealist, 
the Entomologist, the Agricultural Engineer, the Second 
Agricultural Engineer, the Executive Engineer (Lift 
Irrigation), the Cotton Research Botanist and the Mycologist. 
There are about 244 students in residence at the College 
which teaches up to the M. Sc. (Agr.) of the Punjab 
University. There is a farm of 84 acres attached to the 
College. The Professor of Agriculture is in charge of 
the Lyallpur farm, 430 acres and of the Risalewala farm, 
858 acres. The Associate Professor of Botany is in 
charge of the botanical farm and fruit garden, 115 acres. 



APPENDIX 95 

There is also a Cotton Research farm at Risalewala, 
220 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Gurdaspur Head- 
quarters at Gurdaspur, 263 acres with sub-stations at 
Gujranwala, 100 acres; Sialkot, 50 acres; Kala Shah 
Kaku, 146 acres ; Beas, 43 acres ; Khalsa College farm, 
Amritsar, 50 acres. The Poultry Expert is stationed at 
Gurdaspur. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Hansi Head- 
quarters at Hansi, 589 acres with sub-stations at Sirsa, 419 
acres; Rohtak, 100 acres; Gurgaon, 100 acres; Ambala, 
99 acres; Ferozepore, 100 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture (Professor of 
Agriculture), Lyallpur Head-quarters at Lyallpur, 430 
acres (experimental) and 858 acres (seed) with a 
sub- station at Jhang, 200 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Multan Head- 
quarters at Multan, 529 acres with sub-stations at Dera 
Ghazi Khan, 139 acres ; Mianwali, 207 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Montgomery 
Head-quarters at Montgomery, 549 acres with sub-stations 
at Shergarh (seed) 261 acres; Ganji Bar, 558 acres; 
Raewind, 46 acres; Fitna, 500 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Rawalpindi 
Head- quarters at Rawalpindi, 252 acres with sub-stations 
at Sargodha, 657 acres; Chillianwala, 250 acres; 
Cambellpur, 100 acres ; Gujrat, 50 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Jullundur 
Head-quarters at Jullundur, 50 acres with sub-stations at 
Ludhiana, 54 acres ; Kangra, 10 acres. 

UNITED PROVINCES 

Director of Agriculture Head-quarters at 
Shahjahanpur. 

Agricultural College and Research Institute, 
Cawnpore In addition to the teaching staff the following 
research officers have their head-quarters at Cawnpore: 
the Agricultural Chemist, tl^e Economic Botanist, the 
Assistant Economic Botanist (in charge of the Cotton 



96 DEVELOPMENT OF INDIAN AGRICULTURE 

research farm at Raya, Muttra), the Second Economic 
Botanist, the Entomologist, the Plant Pathologist, the 
Agricultural Engineer, the Second Agricultural Engineer 
and the Third Agricultural Engineer. There are about 
180 students in residence at the College which grants its 
own diploma of L. Ag. A large farm and a model dairy 
are attached to the College. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Central Circle 
Head-quarters at Cawnpore, 71 acres with sub-stations at 
Kalianpur (near Cawnpore), 263 acres; Etawah, 61 acres; 
Hardoi, 55 acres; Mainpuri, 53 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Eastern Circle 
Head-quarters at Partabgarh, 90 acres with sub-stations at 
Naugawan (Sultanpur), 400 acres; Fyzabad, 206 acres; 
Benares, 78 acres; Rae Bareilly, 12 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Western Circle 
Head-quarters at Aligarh, 88 acres with sub-stations at 
Kalai (Aligarh), 142 acres; Muzaffarmigar, 100 acres ; 
Agra, 100 acres; Muttra, 36 acres; Bulandshahr, 25 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, North-Eastern 
Circle, Gorakhpur Head-quarters at Gorakhpur, 110 
acres with a sub-station at Bahraich, 102 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Eohilkhand Circle 
Head-quarters at Shahjahanpur, 163 acres with sub-stations 
at Nawabganj (Bareilly), 119 acres; Nagina (Bijnor), 
77 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Bundelkhand Circle 
Head-quarters at Jhansi with sub-stations at Attarra 
(Banda), 171 acres; Jaitpur (Hamirpur), 30 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture, Hill Circle 
Head-quarters at Jeolikote (Naini Tal), 51 acres. 

Deputy Director of Agriculture in charge of cattle- 
breeding operations Head-quarters at Madhurikund 
farm (Muttra), 613 acres with a sub-station at Manjhara 
(Kheri), 553 acres. 

Agricultural Schools The Bulandshahr agricultural 
school has accommodation for 100 students and is being 
extended to accommodate 140. Four courses are given : (1) 
a two years' agricultural course; (2) a farm mechanics 
course (6 months); (3) a course for fieldmen (6 months); 
(4) a training course for agricultural teachers in middle 



APPENDIX 97 

schools (1 year). The school is provided with a farm 
of 45 acres, laboratories, workshops, a dairy and small 
power machinery. The staff consists of a Principal and 
Lecturers in agricultural science and engineering. A 
second agricultural school is being established in Gorakh- 
pur on similar lines and will be completed in 1^30. 

Deputy Director in charge of Government Gardens 
Head -quarters at Saharanpur. Government gardens are 
maintained at Agra, Allahabad, Almora, Lucknow and 
Saharanpur.